Washington Legislature, District 7, Senate
This sprawling district includes all of Pend Oreille, Stevens, Ferry and Lincoln counties, and parts of Spokane and Okanogan counties. It joins rural areas and small towns that rely on timber, farming and mining with suburban communities north and west of Spokane.
State Sen. Bob Morton, a 16-year incumbent, faces Democrat Barbara Mowrey, a former Chewelah councilwoman who believes he and other legislators aren’t doing enough to ensure the rights of grandparents and other relatives in child placement cases.
• Bob Morton , 76
Bio: State senator, 1994-present, minority leader of natural resources committee; state representative, 1991-’94; has worked as bush pilot, minister and mortuary operator. Bachelor of arts and divinity degrees from Alfred University. Lives with wife in Orient; five adult children.
Campaign promises: Protect agriculture, natural resource issues important to rural life, oppose tax increases, make government live within its means, all stances he’s pursued in nearly 20 years as a legislator.
Notable: Morton once employed Cathy McMorris Rodgers as his legislative aide in the House and she held the same seat for 10 years before being elected to Congress.
• Barbara Mowrey , 59
Bio: Two-term Chewelah City Council member; former licensed cosmetologist, paralegal, licensed foster parent; paralegal studies at Spokane Community Colleges. Divorced; three adult children, raising granddaughter.
Campaign promises: Change state laws to give grandparents and other relatives more standing and judges less discretion in child custody cases; have juries decide family court cases; improve relations and information with other parts of state.
Notable: Was once a professional singer; sang at Grand Ole Opry as a child and toured with her sisters.