The time is growing near for Okanogan County residents to choose their next sheriff. I want to take a moment to explain why I support Tony Hawley for sheriff.

Many residents of the county know me and understand what my opinions are based on when it comes to this matter.

For those who don’t know me, I am fifth-generation, born and raised in the county. I recently moved away, leaving behind hundreds of friends and family.

The safety of these people is important to me. I spent 24 years in public service in the county, first in fire, then in law enforcement as an Okanogan County deputy sheriff. These experiences gave me insight into the needs of Okanogan County residents and the issues faced by its leaders. A lot of good things have been said of Tony in the past weeks and months. If you are getting the idea he is the best candidate, you are right.

If you have not had the chance to meet him yet, you should know Tony is the candidate who spent his law enforcement career working patrol for the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office.

A patrol deputy, especially in a diverse county like yours, gets in touch with the people on a level that cannot be reached by other positions in public service. The patrol deputy interacts with folks from all walks of life under countless different conditions and circumstances. All of this interaction teaches the deputy to build relationships and partnerships through cooperation and understanding.

Tony brought what he learned in patrol to the next level when he became a sergeant with the sheriff’s office.

Most who know him would agree with me when I say he is the most capable leader I have worked for.

With Tony as your sheriff, you will get the benefit of proven success in leadership plus his experience on patrol.

You will have a capable, approachable sheriff who understands the issues you face as residents because he has already been out there protecting Okanogan County for many years.

Ottis Buzzard Wasilla, Alaska

Has everyone had enough of partisan politics?

Of shaming, and name calling, of representatives voting party line instead of for their constituents?

This election, you have a chance to effect change by electing change in your own backyard.

We have two qualified, independent candidates running for office here in eastern Washington. Salley Bull is running for Okanogan County commissioner. Her platform focuses on four key issues — improving the employment picture, careful planning for our water resources, supporting our full time residents, and improving our relations with our neighbors in Canada. Running against Salley Bull is Jim DeTro.

His website states its time to stop “robbing from Peter to pay Paul to balance budgets.” But he had no qualms about spending $3,000 of your tax dollars with his fellow commissioners at the time, for membership in the American Lands Council, which promotes transfers of federal lands to state and county ownership.

Ann Diamond is running for state House Representative in the 12th District, position No. 1. Key points from Diamond’s platform are access to affordable health care, local jobs for local people, and responsible use of your money.

Keith Goehner is running against Ann Diamond. His website doesn’t even mention affordable health care, a basic need for us all, and while it states lofty goals, it is short on substance.

Bull and Diamond are campaigning tirelessly because they believe it is time for change in our politics — that it is time to start listening to constituents, and follow their lead, not a party platform. As responsible voters, we need to look at all the candidates and decide for ourselves who will best represent our needs.

I encourage you to visit and and read their full platforms.

Above all, please don’t be one of the 100 million citizens who don’t vote. Your vote matters.

Karen Mulcahy Winthrop

Voters please speak to your neighbors, friends and family about the upcoming election.

After making hundreds of calls on behalf of candidates, I have found that there are many voters who do not subscribe to the newspaper and do not have Internet access. They know nothing about who is up for election except from billboards on our roadsides as one voter told me. So you see, that leaves only us to discuss candidates with such voters.

Who will I vote for? We have to bring on Salley Bull for Okanogan County commissioner with deep roots (six generations) and wide experience in our county, plus an open mind to bring all sides together.

She’s done so in her town of Oroville. Now let her dig in with Chris Branch and Andy Hover to get work done for all of us.

With Salley Bull as District No. 3 commissioner we can continue to have the well-run county government we elected in 2016 that protects access to our public lands and county roads.

She’ll be proactive with local business in promoting products and services, inexpensive power rates, recreational activities and the benefits of living in small, rural communities. Salley says, ‘We need more than minimum wage or seasonal jobs for our county and its families to flourish.”

Salley is willing to work outside the box to accomplish these goals.

And while you’re at it, vote for Ann Diamond for state House in Olympia and Christine Brown for the House in Washington, DC.

Gay Northrup Winthrop

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