By the time this newspaper reaches your mailbox, stoop, storefront, or neighborhood kiosk, anxious voters will be hearing the first ballot results that will determine the future of Washington state, and counties and cities within it.

It’s the last few weeks of the general election leading up to this moment that gets me, though. The horse race is at its peak, and there are always a few surprises in public opinion polling. People in the know often say the polls, which are expected to gauge candidate support, simply aren’t accurate and can unfairly influence the outcome of elections. People are nonetheless captivated by polling and the horse race—just like me, just like anyone who cares about who will be running their city or county.

In the week before the last day of general election, every jib, jab, and jibe matters.

There is no time to waste. People lunge forward unapologetically and attack. They desperately dig deeper into the dirt, past burial ground levels, and bring what was buried to light. We gawk at how some public officials conduct their daily lives. How could you trust a public official who (at the very least) tips poorly, for example? And in the last days, this is supposedly a clear indication of how these brave souls are going to conduct themselves in public office—their response to the cheap shots, their ability to stay composed and stick to their guns (for lack of a less violent expression)—to stand unwaveringly for the very presumably good reasons they first came to run for office. And after being socked, only one of these candidates will survive to go on to the next round.

The International Examiner has survived through the decades, and though it has rolled with the punches—a Great Recession, a dying newspaper industry, etc.—it has never been knocked out. Because we’re tough. And we’ve grown nearly 40 years strong as the only nonprofit Pan-Asian newspaper in the country.

It has been a truly humbling and enlightening experience for me to witness and understand how a newspaper’s history repeats. The same issues that mattered 40 years ago in our Asian Pacific American communities (education, public safety, transportation, health care, neighborhood preservation, and supporting our small businesses) resurface in new ways and are high on the mayoral candidates’ agendas today—much of it as a direct result of our advocacy. Forty years and too many election cycles ago, we carried a message and a set of values in our publication that are still just as relevant today, and since then, our voices have grown—in numbers, ethnic backgrounds, and generations—louder and more influential every year.

Hopefully, one day, the International Examiner can grow from the ultimate survivor to an unassailable media source and community resource that shifts to meet continually evolving needs.

I am looking forward to International Examiner’s next iteration, and what the new editor, Travis Quezon, will bring to carry the paper forward.

Farewell, and thank you for an exhilarating race and a remarkable year.

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