Washington's voters received their mail-in ballots this past weekend and have already started returning them well in advance of the November 6 election day.
Like others, local candidates are continuing to present their messages to the voting public. This week, we asked candidates for Wahkiakum County commissioner if they had one last message to give to voters.
Here are their responses:
Both Mike Backman, Independent, and Greg Prestegard, Democrat, have been going door to door throughout the county and talking to residents.
"There are so many things I could say, but right now, I'm just tryinig to get people to vote," Prestegard said. "My feelings haven't changed; I've been consistent. I just want to represent the people of the county."
In going door-to-door and holding barbecue dinners that drew around 85 people, Backman said he had met many people who could help the county if they got involved. He'd like to see them participate in his proposal to examine closely the county's purchasing and to find the cheapest sources of supplies.
"I want to involve people as much as I can," he said. "We can use the wisdom of the people out there to try to find things cheaper.
"I'm not trying to put volunteers to work in the courthouse and take someone's job away," he added. "Retired people have expertise and time. They can help us find things that we're already buying."
Both 12-year incumbent Dan Cothren and challenger Joan Harvey Chester are running as Independents.
Cothren said that although he has focused his efforts in office on working with state officials to preserve and expand the county's trust timberlands, he has been involved in other programs. For instance, he represents the county on the Southwest Washington Worksource Council and has helped shape the programs that put unemployed people back to work.
"Worksource offers a lot of training," he said. "We recently held a job fair down here. I can see some good things coming. I'd like to continue working with that."
Timber issues, however, are his passion, and he also wants to continue working with state officials to protect and expand the county's timber base.
"We could be solvent with timber," he said. "I'll feel really good when that happens."
There has been good progress in the last five years, he said, with county commissioners, state legislators and administrators of the Department of Natural Resources working as a team.
"It has fallen into place," he said. "I've really put a lot of effort into it."
Chester acknowledges that Cothren has experience with the timber issues, but she feels her business background gives her negotiating strengths that Cothren lacks. She is developing contacts that would keep the process going, she said.
"If I am elected and chosen to represent the county on timber issues, I want to be ready," she said. "Therefore, I have started by talking with Lisa Ayers, Pacific County commissioner, and Paul Pearce, Skamania County commissioner, and meeting with Jaime Herrera Beutler, U.S Representative.
"Also, I have a good relationship with Rob McKenna, candidate for governor, and I've talked with him about our issues, and if he is elected he will be very helpful to us.
"You don't have to have experience working in the woods to enable you to go to Olympia, build a coalition, and work on your cause. This fight is in Olympia and Washington DC. I have the time, desire and experience to accomplish this goal.
"I will work along with Jaime, to help her pass her proposed Responsible Timber Management Plan that will release more of our encumbered forest lands.
"I am thankful for the support of many of our businesses especially those in the timber industry that know I can do the job."