Originally published in The Yakima Herald:  October 14, 2016

For state treasurer, the top two primary yielded two Republicans advancing to the general election after three Democrats split their votes. Benton County Treasurer Duane Davidson and Seattle investment manager Michael Waite share the same party but articulate different approaches to the job.


In addition to different approaches, Davidson and Waite bring very opposite styles befitting their varying résumés for the treasurer, whose office oversees the cash flow of all major state accounts. The treasurer also serves on the State Investment Board, which directs state pension fund investments.

Davidson is serving his fourth term as Benton County treasurer; he also has worked in the state auditor’s office and as chief financial accountant for Benton County. Davidson comes across as an unassuming but knowledgeable numbers guy…

The policy contrast mainly comes down whether to maintain the current approach under outgoing Democratic Treasurer Jim McIntire or take it in a new direction.

Davidson praises McIntire’s financial stewardship, though he criticizes McIntire’s advocacy of a state income tax as a way to increase revenue and alter the nature of the state’s tax system. He would maintain the status quo in how the office operates. He has won the endorsements of most of the state’s county treasurers and from unions representing employees with state pensions…

…we side with Davidson’s long track record of careful stewardship of public resources.