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Eye On Olympia

More on new 9th District candidate…

Heard back from Tyana Kelley, a Pullman Democrat running for the seat now held by state Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax.

A 2002 Whitworth graduate, Kelley says she grew up in Spokane as part of a family with deep roots working for the once-mighty Kaiser Aluminum.

“I don’t have a political background, which is exactly why I am running for this position,” she writes. “I don’t have my own agenda to push through Olympia.”

Her concerns include changing the WASL test requirements for high school graduation and putting more money into college financial aid programs. She also — who doesn’t? — wants to boost access to health care. But she says she’ll spend the campaign as a sounding board, listening to local concerns and vowing to reflect those in the statehouse.

And in a nod to the fact that Democrats have nearly a two-thirds majority now in both the House and Senate, she writes:

“We need someone who can go over to Olympia and work with the Democratic majority to get real work done for the people of eastern Washington. We don’t need two people who only vote down the party line and continue to accomplish nothing.”

Her campaign sounds a lot like that of Caitlin Ross, a young Democratic candidate who ran in 2006 on a similar education/health care/listening platform and vowed to be a voice for a forgotten region.


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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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