State Sen. Jim West Running For Lieutenant Governor
State Sen. Jim West is running for lieutenant governor.
West, 44, joins a field of three other candidates for the $62,700-a-year post. The incumbent, Joel Pritchard, has announced he will not run again.
West, a Spokane Republican, is midway through his second term in the Senate. He also served four years in the House.
The lieutenant governor presides over the Senate and hosts dignitaries visiting the Capitol. When the governor is unable to perform his or her duties, the lieutenant governor fills in.
Other than that, the lieutenant governor can set his or her own priorities. West said he would encourage statewide debate on re-thinking government.
“We have to ask ourselves if the goals we have set are even achievable, if government is doing the right things,” he said. “We should not keep doing things we know don’t work.”
West said he also would focus attention on higher education and K-12 schools, and work to recruit businesses to the state.
He is ranking minority member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and has been something of a lightning rod in Olympia because of his outspoken views.
West was the only lawmaker to call for the impeachment of Mike Lowry when a sexual harassment scandal engulfed the governor last year.
Over the years, West has held a variety of jobs: Army paratrooper, Medical Lake police officer, Spokane County deputy sheriff, real estate agent, and deputy sergeant of arms in the Statehouse.
For seven years he owned a scuba diving shop in Spokane, more than 300 miles from the nearest salt water.
“We were selling a vision,” West said. “And that’s what I’d be selling as lieutenant governor.”
The other candidates in the race are Sen. Brad Owen, R-Shelton; Sen. Ann Anderson, R-Acme, and Democrat Greg Fisher, a former member of the House of Representatives.