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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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October 06, 2004

All about image

The race for the Eighth Congressional District seat seems to be all about image.

Neither Democrat Dave Ross nor Republican Dave Reichert collected many newspaper endorsements and both trailed in money-raising. But their celebrity -- Ross as a popular radio talk show host and Reichert as the King County Sheriff who caught the Green River Killer -- left better candidates behind.

While both are thoughtful, well-intentioned candidates, this is definitely a B-Squad matchup.

Sadly, neither candidate has a record that is easy to track. Weren't most people working when Ross was on the radio between 9 a.m. and noon? And a sheriff doesn't usually grapple with major issues of federal tax policy and health care. Both candidates' Web sites -- a place where voters ought to be able to get a good idea of distinctions -- are appallingly flimsy in terms of their positions on issues.

Under issues, Ross' Web site contains some ideas about health care but nothing else. Reichert's has scant paragraphs devoted to homeland security, transportation and a third category of "jobs, taxes and the economy."

The candidates need to do a better job of distinguishing themselves beyond the image question. They can do that by posting more of their views on the Web site.

Voters should carefully scrutinize both candidates carefully -- or they'll be left with loads of image but not much substance.

Respond to Kate

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Posted by Kate Riley at October 6, 2004 04:53 PM



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