Fire board race: A fine exercise in democracy | Editorial

Islanders had a fantastic choice on Nov. 8, when we had to decide between Candy McCullough and Joe Ulatoski for fire commissioner. Little wonder, then, that a mere 60 or 70 votes out of some 4,075 cast separate them.

They’re both people of integrity. They’re both committed to the fire department. And they both wanted the position very much.

Few other races drew two candidates, least of all, two candidates who actually campaigned for the seat. Three positions were open on the Vashon school board; only the incumbents opted to run. The same is true for the Vashon Park District board, where, again, three incumbents ran for three seats.

But when it came to Position 4 on the Vashon Island Fire & Rescue’s board, McCullough and Ulatoski gave it their all — campaigning vigorously and well.

It appears that McCullough has proved victorious. In the last five days, she has pulled steadily ahead. But in such a close election, the voters have also made something else clear: Both were fine candidates, worthy of support.

Our turnout was also impressive. Nearly 60 percent of the Island’s eligible voters cast ballots, compared to 51 percent countywide and 52 percent in Seattle.

The fire district race was a great example of civic-minded  politics and community-based democracy. We commend both candidates for their thoughtful and spirited campaigns.


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