In the Nov. 6 general election, islanders will vote on the San Juan County Sheriff and Prosecutor.
Prosecuting Attorney Randall Gaylord is running for his sixth consecutive re-election, after initially winning the seat in 1994. Local attorney Nicholas Power is running against Gaylord for the partisan position that holds a four-year term.
Sheriff Ronald Krebs is running for his first re-election, after initially winning his first bid for public office in 2014. San Juan County Deputy Jeff Asher is also running for the nonpartisan seat, with a four-year term.
The Journal asked the candidates the following questions:
Prosecuting Attorney Randy Gaylord
Journal: What makes you the ideal candidate?
RG: Twenty-four years experience serving as your prosecutor. From the jetski case to the recent permit fee case and thousands of criminal and civil cases between, I demonstrate proven success in court founded on superior legal skills, high ethics, independence and impartiality. My extensive record includes trying cases to verdict, defending lawsuits and advising on open government and public safety. I lead an accomplished team of lawyers dedicated to public service with no conflicts of interest.
Journal: What is the biggest problem facing our county? What is the solution?
RG: Our county is trending away from economic and social diversity and that threatens the way of life for people who live here today. This risk falls disproportionately to those “in the middle” – teachers, laborers, small business owners, and most county workers including professionals such as engineers, planners and lawyers. We must resist becoming a rural museum of visitors supported by workers commuting from Anacortes instead of families who make their life in the islands. Housing is important, and so is diversity of jobs including crafts and farms.
Our county is a diverse community conquering its problems through a unique, self-reliant style which is characteristic of most who live here. We benefit from “intelligent common sense” creating hope and confidence that we will protect our people and protect our land. The solution lies in being mindful always for the needs of others, and seizing opportunities when they arise while not being fearful of failing. Leaders in business, government and public service must stay current, share information, follow trends and respond appropriately. Examples of my solution in action are the housing ballot measure and the drug-free work of Coalition for Orcas Youth.
Journal: How can the prosecutor assist victims of crime?
RG: I have expanded services for crime victims from a box of papers mailed to victims into a two-person office helping those harmed by crime, whether reported or not. We focus on the three C’s: compassion provides an ear and a shoulder supporting discovery of harm caused by crime, then action for safety; communication ensures that victims know promptly what is happening next and prepare appropriately; and collaboration means the concerns of victims are seriously considered and that their voices are heard at every important step.