House Position 2: It’s round two in the matchup between Democrat John Driscoll and Republican John Ahern.
The pair faced off two years ago, and results were so close it took a hand recount to determine that Driscoll beat Ahern by 72 votes. This time, with Driscoll as the incumbent, the race looks to be close again.
Although Driscoll has a major fundraising advantage, he pulled just 41 percent of the primary vote. On election night, he acknowledged that to win, he’ll need a lot of crossover support from backers of third-place finisher Shelly O’Quinn, a Republican.
Driscoll has positioned himself as a business-friendly moderate in one of the state’s most politically balanced districts. He broke ranks with his party leaders earlier this year and voted against the temporary tax increases that won legislative support anyway.
As of early October, Driscoll had raised $150,000. Ahern, who also opposes the temporary taxes, has raised about $30,000.
• John Ahern, 75
Bio: Married; three grown children. Earned bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Denver. Owns Janco Products, an office supply business. Served in Army and Army Reserves from 1957 to 1963. Served in state House from 2001 through 2008. Website: voteahern.com.
Issues: Opposes new taxes to balance budget. Supports privatization of liquor sales and some other services to help balance budget. Says state’s regulations on business are too strict, causing firms to go elsewhere. Says there is not enough evidence to indicate that humans impact global warming. Opposes state’s domestic partner law and gay marriage. Supports repeal of state’s no-fault divorce law.
• John Driscoll, 53
Bio: Divorced; three grown children. Earned psychology degree from Washington State University and a master’s degree in health care administration from Whitworth College. Executive director of Project Access, a nonprofit organization that works to provide health care to the uninsured. Website: www.votejohndriscoll.org.
Issues: Opposes new taxes to balance budget. Says middle management should be scaled back to help balance the budget. Says his experience in health care will help in campaign to bring four-year medical school to Spokane. Says state has role in lessening the impact of global warming. Supports state’s domestic partner law, but opposes gay marriage. Supports state’s current no-fault divorce law.