Governor who? Lesser-knowns make a run for it

from the News Tribune

They’re the other guys, the second-tier candidates for governor who lack the name familiarity, the endorsements and the contributions of the three main Democrats and six top Republicans seeking the office. They’re one part Don Quixote and one part Cinderella — each has a cause and each thinks that with just a little luck, and a little attention from the voters and the media, he could win it all. “During the last three months I have been on the road constantly. I think I’ve become like the Roadrunner,” said Ephrata doctor Mohammad Said, a Democrat. “Had I collected $50,000 which is one-tenth what the front-runners collected — I probably would be a front-runner and not a Road- runner.”

Said (pronounced Sah-eed) is joined in the Democratic primary by Bryan Zetlen and Max Englerius of Seattle. On the Republican side, the second-tier candidates are Warren Hanson of Belling- ham and Robert Tharp of Vancouver. Jeff Powers is the candidate of the Socialist Workers Party.

Zetlen, 47, is on the bubble between the so- called major candidates for governor and those grouped as the also-rans. While he is the least known and least well-funded of the major candidates, he has managed to get invited to most of the candidate forums and interviews. Still, he often is left to fend for himself with the second-tier candidates. And it angers him that things that have little to do with ideas or competence — previous offices held, interest group endorsements and fund raising — are used to segregate the candidates.