October 16, 2012 in City

State awaits new governor

 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee has proposed targeted tax breaks for industries like software and biotech.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

U.S. Senate

Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell coasted to the pole position in Washington’s top-two primary, but Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner, a state legislator from Spokane who captured the second-most votes and the final spot on the general election ballot, hasn’t let that deter him. The candidates are divided along fairly standard partisan lines.

The job: Six-year term, no term limits, voting on legislation and presidential appointments to judiciary and top levels of bureaucracy; $174,000 per-year salary plus health benefits, pension, some travel allowance, offices and staff in Washington, D.C., Seattle, Spokane and several other cities.

MICHAEL BAUMGARTNER, 36, Republican from Spokane; bachelor’s degree from Washington State University, master’s degree Harvard University; former foreign service officer in Iraq, former civilian contractor in Afghanistan; lectures on counterterrorism; finishing second year in state Senate.

Key issues: The road from Olympia to Washington is long and difficult – he has far less name recognition and money than Cantwell, is from a less populous part of the state and has spent two years on state issues. He’s trying to use his expertise in the Middle East to bring foreign affairs to the forefront of the race.

Notable: Named one of Spokane’s sexiest people in a 2011 Pacific Northwest Inlander article.

MARIA CANTWELL, 54, Democrat from Edmonds; bachelor’s degree from Miami University, Ohio; former executive RealNetworks, former state legislator; incumbent finishing second Senate term.

Key issues: The road back to Washington may be easier than when she beat Republican icon Slade Gorton in 2000 or Seattle business leader Mike McGavick in 2006. She’s emphasizing populist positions like opposition to bank bailouts, questioning oil industry profits and help that some residents get from the Affordable Care Act.

Notable: Named “sexiest senator” in a 2009 poll of Huffington Post readers.

U.S. House

Since Speaker of the House Tom Foley lost his seat in 1994, Democrats have struggled in congressional races for Washington’s 5th District. Although Democrats this year quickly united behind one candidate, primary results suggest Republicans have retained the upper hand. Democratic businessman Rich Cowan won just 33 percent of the vote in August. Incumbent Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who has generally breezed to re-election since winning the seat in 2004, had 56 percent of the vote. Two lesser-known candidates were eliminated. In recent years, McMorris Rodgers has gained an expanding role in Congress and the Republican Party and is considered the highest-ranking woman in the House as the vice chairwoman of the House Republican Conference. $174,000 per-year salary plus health care benefits, pension, some travel allowance, offices and staff in Washington, D.C., and Spokane.

RICH COWAN, 56, Democrat from Spokane; CEO and founder, North by Northwest Productions.

Key issues: Says tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year should be maintained for all but those who earn more than $200,000 a year. Says the Affordable Care Act is an “important first step” in improving the health care system. Believes bailouts to banks and auto industry helped prevent further economic collapse. Supports reclassifying marijuana to allow it to be prescribed by doctors. Supports abortion rights. Supports allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

Notable: Besides producing numerous films, Cowan has directed a few as well that were filmed in Spokane.

CATHY McMORRIS RODGERS, 43, Republican from Spokane; incumbent congresswoman.

Key issues: Says tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year should be maintained for all. Voted against Affordable Care Act – the health care law signed into law by President Barack Obama. Opposed bank bailouts and car manufacturer bailouts. Opposes decriminalization of marijuana. Opposes abortion rights unless a woman’s life is in danger. Opposes allowing gays to serve openly in the military. 

Notable: Chairwoman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Washington.

Governor

The race between Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna pits two lawyers and experienced politicians against each other in a battle to replace Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is retiring. Though they’ve gone to great lengths to draw distinctions between each other, many of their key issues and positions are similar. The governor serves as chief executive for the state, with veto power over legislation, appointment power to the state’s numerous boards, commissions and agencies, and to fill judicial openings. Serves four-year term with no term limits, although only one person has ever served more than two terms. Annual salary $166,891, plus health care, pension, official residence, staff and security.

JAY INSLEE, 61, Democrat from Bainbridge Island; attorney, former legislator, former congressman.

Notable: First person elected in two different congressional districts in Washington.

ROB McKENNA, 50, Republican from Bellevue; attorney, two-term state attorney general, former King County councilman.

Notable: If he wins, he’d be the second attorney general in a row to become governor.

Key campaign issues: Both want to improve the economy, McKenna with B&O tax breaks for all small businesses, Inslee with targeted tax breaks for key industries like software and biotech. Both would increase funding for public schools, although neither would raise taxes to do it. McKenna supports charter schools as part of his education plan; Inslee opposes charter schools and would expand the state’s innovative schools programs. Inslee voted for the federal Affordable Care Act and says it provides important protections for women’s health, people with pre-existing conditions and young adults. McKenna joined the lawsuit that unsuccessfully challenged the law but says the state now needs to push for changes in Medicaid, emphasize results rather than fee formulas, and reform malpractice.

Lieutenant Governor

Democratic incumbent Brad Owen is seeking his fifth four-year term as the state’s chief backup, but Republican Bill Finbeiner, a former state legislator, is looking to unseat him. Both advanced to the general election from a crowded primary field, though Finkbeiner finished with a distant second-place finish. The lieutenant governor serves as the state’s chief executive when the governor is out of state; presides over the Senate when in session; and serves on committees on Senate rules, economic development, state Capitol and state finance. Four-year term; pays $93,948 per year plus health care and other benefits.

BILL FINKBEINER, 42, Republican from Kirkland; real estate investor.

Key issues: Promises a more cooperative, less partisan state Senate and to diminish the influence of lobbyists and special interests.

Notable: Used to serve as Senate majority leader.

BRAD OWEN, 62, Democrat from Shelton; incumbent lieutenant governor.

Key issues: Promises to make economic development and family-wage jobs his top priority, along with anti-bullying and substance abuse awareness.

Notable: Has multimedia show on substance abuse and anti-bullying awareness.

Secretary of State

The looming retirement of incumbent Sam Reed has set up a race for the open seat between Democrat Kathleen Drew and Republican Kim Wyman, both from the Olympia area. They emerged from a crowded primary field. The secretary of state oversees corporate registration, charities, trademarks, archives and the state library, but the most public duty is as Washington’s top elections official. The position pays $116,950 per year plus health care and other benefits.

KATHLEEN DREW, 51, Democrat from Olympia; business manager, former state senator.

Key issues: Promises to make the initiative process more transparent and to push for same-day voter registration and greater streamlining of registration services for corporations, charities and nonprofits.

Notable: Served as gubernatorial adviser on government streamlining.

KIM WYMAN, 50, Republican from Lacey; Thurston County auditor.

Key issues: Promises to modernize elections to improve accuracy and efficiency, and make archives and documents more accessible.

Notable: Holds same job that retiring Secretary of State Sam Reed previously held.

State Auditor

Republican James Watkins and Democrat Troy Kelley advanced from a crowded primary field to this general election faceoff and the chance to replace longtime Auditor Brian Sonntag, who is retiring after four terms as the state’s top watchdog. The state auditor runs the office that conducts financial and legal checks of all state and local government agencies to make sure they are following the constitution, state law, local ordinances and accounting standards. The position pays $116,950 a year plus health care and other benefits.

TROY KELLEY, 47, Democrat from Tacoma; lawyer and legislator, owns document tracking service.

Key issues: Promises to make sure tax dollars are used efficiently and to find common ground among political parties and independents.

Notable: As a state lawmaker, he names winners of a yearly Common Cents Campaign; served on legislative audit committee.

JAMES WATKINS, 52, Republican from Redmond; business development consultant, former Microsoft product manager.

Key issues: Promises to increase productivity, cut costs, fight fraud and abuse, promote open government and strengthen performance auditing.

Notable: Ran for Congress in 2010.

Attorney General

The race to replace Rob McKenna, who is running for governor, pits two King County councilmen against each other. Republican Reagan Dunn and Democrat Bob Ferguson have waged spirited campaigns, with their sparring at debates and public appearances providing some of the most memorable political clashes of the season so far. The attorney general is the state’s top legal officer, responsible for enforcing the law and for defending state agencies in civil litigation. The position pays $151,718 per year plus health care and other benefits.

REAGAN DUNN, 41, Republican from Bellevue; attorney and former federal prosecutor.

Key issues: Promises to give greater focus to the position’s law enforcement and criminal prosecution duties, while providing strong consumer and environmental protection.

Notable: Named in honor of Ronald Reagan by his mother, former GOP state and U.S. representative Jennifer Dunn.

BOB FERGUSON, 47, Democrat from Seattle; attorney.

Key issues: Promises strong focus on civil side of the legal spectrum, explaining it accounts for 90 percent of the job; promises to establish an environmental crimes task force.

Notable: Pushed to reduce the number of seats on the King County council, had his district eliminated and beat another incumbent.

Treasurer

This is the state’s top fiscal officer, responsible for managing and safeguarding the state’s tax revenue and other deposits. It initially appeared incumbent Jim McIntire would coast to a new four-year term without any opposition, but independent candidate Sharon Hanek mounted a write-in campaign in the August primary that captured enough of the ballots cast to qualify for an actual spot on the general election ballot. The position pay $116,950 per year plus health care and other benefits.

SHARON HANEK, 56, independent from Buckley; accountant.

Key issues: Give voters a choice in the election; bring greater transparency to management of Washington state’s money.

Notable: Grew up on U.S. military bases in Japan.

JIM McINTIRE, 59, Democrat from Seattle; incumbent state treasurer.

Key issues: Improve planning for transportation and general obligation debt to prevent short-term spending from foreclosing the major, long-term investments needed to keep economy growing.

Notable: Saved $1.3 billion in interest costs on state debt by obtaining lower interest rates from Wall Street; recovered lost investment value of state pension fund.

Insurance Commissioner

This is the third time Republican challenger John Adams Jr. has made it through a primary to face Democratic incumbent Mike Kreidler in a general election. The commissioner is the top insurance regulator in the state. The position pays $116,950 plus health care and other benefits.

JOHN ADAMS JR., 72, Republican from Seattle; insurance broker.

Key issues: Promises to update the state’s regulation of insurance companies to allow more choice and group purchasing of drugs, and to reform tort laws.

Notable: Enjoys sharing a name with one of America’s Founding Fathers.

MIKE KREIDLER, 68, Democrat; incumbent state insurance commissioner.

Key issues: Supports federal health care reform and coverage of pre-existing conditions and promises to keep nonprofit insurance providers from continued “stockpiling” of excess profits.

STATE Supreme Court

The high court’s position 9 drew a crowded field of mostly well-known Puget Sound candidates in the primary, with veteran appellate lawyer Sheryl Gordon McCloud and former Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders advancing to the general election. Although judicial positions are nonpartisan and judges are discouraged from making promises, Sanders is a self-professed libertarian who lost a re-election bid two years ago amid contentious debates over his Supreme Court tenure. McCloud has tackled major legal and social issues as a lawyer specializing in appellate law.

SHERYL GORDON McCLOUD, 56, Bainbridge Island; lawyer.

Notable: Successfully argued for a new trial for a death row inmate after questions emerged over potentially tainted evidence.

RICHARD B. SANDERS, 67, Vashon; lawyer.

Notable: Describes himself as a supporter of gun and private property rights; lost key endorsements in 2010 re-election bid after suggesting that blacks are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system because they commit more crime than other racial groups.

Public Lands Commissioner

In the only statewide race pitting two Eastern Washington candidates against each other, Democratic incumbent and molecular scientist Peter Goldmark will fend off a challenge from former pro football player and state lawmaker Clint Didier to oversee management of the state’s public lands. The commissioner administers the Department of Natural Resources, overseeing the state’s forest, range, aquatic and conservation lands, and serves on several boards and commissions that govern lands policy. Four year term, no limits. Salary: $121,618 per year, plus health care benefits, state pension system, staff.

PETER GOLDMARK, 66, Democrat from Okanogan County; Ph.D. in molecular biology from University of California at Berkeley; rancher, former WSU regent, former school board member; incumbent lands commissioner finishing first term.

CLINT DIDIER, 53, Republican from Connell; bachelor’s degree from Portland State University; former NFL player for Washington Redskins, served on National Farm Service Agency; rancher and farmer.

Key campaign issues: Both candidates talk about managing the state’s resource lands more efficiently. Goldmark said he had to make cuts and find efficiencies in his first term because of a declining budget and wants to continue that for the next four years while preserving ecosystems. Didier says he would implement “strategic harvests” in forests threatened by pests to cut down on wildfire risks while increasing money for public schools, which are the beneficiaries of revenue from state lands.

State Legislature

Each legislative district includes a seat in the state Senate and two seats in the state House. State senators and representatives are paid $42,106 per year plus health care benefits and are eligible for a $90 per day stipend during legislative sessions and other official gatherings.

3rd Legislative District

This district includes downtown and central Spokane.

• State Senate: Voters in central Spokane’s 3rd Legislative District will choose between two popular and experienced politicians to fill the vacancy that will be left with the retirement of Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, who shocked local and state officials in May when she abruptly announced that she would not seek a new term. Republicans were excited about Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin’s entry into the race – which occurred before Brown decided to retire – because she has attracted strong support in her council district representing northwest Spokane. But the legislative district leans more Democratic than the area within her council boundaries, making her work difficult, and results of the primary showed her opponent, state Rep. Andy Billig, with a convincing lead. Billig, too, has been popular with voters and cruised to victory in his first run for office in 2010.

ANDY BILLIG, 44, Democrat from Spokane; state representative.

Issues: Says his business experience as a Spokane Indians Baseball Club executive and co-owner make him “uniquely qualified” to work on job creation and says his record shows he fights for “great public schools.” Opposes constitutional amendment requiring two-thirds votes to approve tax increases. Supports same-sex marriage. Opposes initiative to allow charter schools. Agrees with state Supreme Court ruling that says state isn’t adequately funding education and says new revenue is needed, perhaps through tax reform. Opposes rule requiring minors to receive parental consent to receive an abortion.

Notable: Vice chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

NANCY McLAUGHLIN, 54, Republican, Spokane city councilwoman.

Issues: Says she would bring “common sense” leadership to fight against high taxes and excessive regulations and would focus on creating jobs and education reform. Supports constitutional amendment requiring two-thirds votes to approve tax increases. Opposes same-sex marriage. Supports initiative to allow charter schools. Agrees with state Supreme Court ruling that says state isn’t adequately funding education, but says taxes don’t need to be increased. Supports rule requiring minors to receive parental consent to receive an abortion.

Notable: Former president of the Association of Washington Cities.

House seat 1: Two 34-year-old first-time candidates face each other in the race to fill the state House seat now held by Andy Billig, who opted to run for state Senate. Five candidates were on a crowded ballot in August. Marcus Riccelli, a legislative aide to Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, quickly won the backing of the Democratic establishment and unions for a convincing first-place finish despite the appearance of two better-known Democrats on the ballot. Meanwhile, Republicans largely united behind Tim Benn over a less-conservative Republican, allowing Benn enough votes for a second-place finish over third-place finisher Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder.

TIM BENN, 34, Republican from Spokane; day care center co-owner.

Issues: Disagrees with state Supreme Court ruling that said that the state isn’t adequately funding basic education. Supports rule requiring supermajority votes to increase taxes. Opposes same-sex marriage. Supports charter schools. Opposes law giving local governments the option to install red light enforcement cameras.

Notable: Lobbied politicians earlier this year against new child care regulations that he says are too onerous on businesses.

MARCUS RICCELLI, 34, Democrat from Spokane; former legislative aide.

Issues: Agrees with state Supreme Court ruling that said that the state isn’t adequately funding basic education and says closing tax loopholes is one way that the state could fulfill the state’s financial obligation. Opposes rule requiring supermajority votes to increase taxes. Supports same-sex marriage. Opposes charter schools. Supports law giving local governments the option to install red light enforcement cameras.

Notable: Before working for Brown, Riccelli served as the Eastern Washington director for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell from 2007 to 2010.

House seat 2: The candidates for position 2 have framed the race as one about the need for experience or change. Incumbent Timm Ormsby, who if re-elected would become the senior-most legislator representing any part of the city of Spokane, says his experience in the Legislature makes him effective “at bringing the voice of our community to Olympia,” as he said at a recent League of Women Voters forum. His challenger, Dave White, says Democrats have burdened businesses and citizens with too many taxes and regulations. “We need a change in direction,” White said at the same forum.

TIMM ORMSBY, 53, Democrat, incumbent state representative.

Issues: Agrees with state Supreme Court ruling that said that the state isn’t adequately funding basic education and that more revenue is needed. Opposes rule requiring supermajority votes to increase taxes. Supports same-sex marriage. Supports decriminalizing marijuana offenses. Opposes charter schools. Supports law giving local governments the option to install red light enforcement cameras.

Notable: Also works as the business representative for the Northeastern Washington-Northern Idaho Building and Construction Trades Council, which is affiliated with AFL-CIO.

DAVE WHITE, 60, Republican, Spokane County public works inspector.

Issues: Agrees with state Supreme Court ruling that said that the state isn’t adequately funding basic education, but says tax increases aren’t needed. Supports rule requiring supermajority votes to increase taxes. Opposes same-sex marriage but supports state’s domestic partnership law. Says he’s open to the creation of charter schools. Generally supports decriminalizing marijuana offenses, but says he’ll let voters decide. Opposes law giving local governments the option to install red light enforcement cameras.

Notable: Lost to Andy Billig in his first race for state House in 2010.

4th Legislative District

• House seat 2: The Fourth Legislative District, which includes Spokane Valley, Millwood, Liberty Lake and much of northeast Spokane County, hasn’t been represented by a Democrat since 1992. This year, however, Democrats believe that the seat held by incumbent state Rep. Matt Shea is in play, in part, because of division in the GOP about Shea’s leadership and the misdemeanor gun charge Shea faces in Spokane Municipal Court for keeping a loaded gun in his pickup without a valid concealed weapons permit. Shea faces Amy Biviano, the former chairwoman of the Spokane County Democratic Party – not a title that’s particularly attractive on a resume for the conservative district.

AMY BIVIANO, 37, Democrat from Spokane Valley; accountant.

Issues: Says her first priority is reforming the “regressive” business and occupation tax code and that the state must eliminate “hundreds of special interest tax loopholes.” Says state should provide better funding for local policing agencies to combat domestic violence. Supports same-sex marriage. Opposes rule requiring supermajority support to approve tax increases.

Notable: Biviano earned her master’s in business administration at Gonzaga University.

MATT SHEA, 38, Republican from Spokane Valley; incumbent state representative.

Issues: Shea declined to answer The Spokesman-Review’s 15-topic legislative candidate questionnaire. Shea’s biggest focus has been on what he calls “the battle to restore a God-honoring constitutional republic,” which is based on issues related largely to state sovereignty. Says county sheriffs should have authority over FBI and other federal law enforcement officers. Says firearms made and sold in Washington should not be restricted by federal laws. Says federal government should make payments it owes states only in gold or silver. Opposes same-sex marriage. Supports rule that require supermajority support to approve tax increases.

Notable: Shea is an attorney who graduated from Gonzaga Law School.

6th Legislative District

• House seat 2: The announcement this spring that state Rep. John Ahern would retire helped persuade four candidates to run for his seat in the August primary. Democrat Dennis Dellwo led the field, but more people voted for a Republican candidate. With both eliminated Republicans backing Republican Jeff Holy, Dellwo’s road to return to the Legislature where he served in the 1980s and early 1990s won’t be easy. The 6th Legislative District surrounds central Spokane on the south, west and north and includes the West Plains and Cheney. It’s generally considered Republican-leaning but has elected Democrats in 2006 and 2008. 

DENNIS DELLWO, 67, Democrat from Spokane; attorney, former state representative.

Issues: Hopes to sponsor a bill that aligns college and secondary school curriculums to better ensure high school graduates are prepared for college. Supports same-sex marriage. Opposes rule requiring two-thirds support for tax increases. Disagrees with Gov. Chris Gregoire’s assessment that new taxes may be needed to adequately fund education.

Notable: Served on Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board.

JEFF HOLY, 56, Republican from Spokane; attorney.

Issues: Hopes to sponsor a bill to reform the state’s business and occupation tax. Opposes same-sex marriage. Supports rule requiring two-thirds support for tax increases. Says more revenue is needed to adequately fund education but that tax increases shouldn’t be the first choice to boost funding.

Notable: Former Spokane police officer. Ran for Spokane County commissioner in 2010.

7th Legislative District

• House seat 2: State Rep. Joel Kretz has conservative bona fides. His voting record matched 100 percent with the positions of the National Federation of Independent Business the last two years, for instance. Even so, he’s facing a Republican opponent in the general election. The challenger, Bob Wilson faces an uphill battle. Kretz, a rancher from Wauconda who won his first election for the seat in 2004, took 62 percent of the primary vote and has raised more than $110,000 for his campaign. Wilson, a retired Border Patrol agent from Ione, isn’t raising money for his bid. He said he’s running because he didn’t feel that Kretz has been vocal enough in his district and that he’ll be a stronger advocate for lower taxes. Wilson has less-conservative views on some social issues.

The 7th District includes all of Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, as well as northeast Okanogan County and portions of northern Spokane County, including Deer Park.

JOEL KRETZ, 55, Republican, incumbent state representative.

Issues: Says he works to reverse the trend of government to spend “beyond its means” and has fought to maintain school levy equalization funding. Supports completion of the North Spokane Corridor but questions the need for tax increases to pay for it. Supports constitutional amendment requiring supermajority votes to approve tax increases. Opposes same-sex marriage. Opposes abortion rights, but makes exception for rape victims. Supports charter school initiative. Opposes law that allows local governments to install red light enforcement cameras.

Notable: Serves as Republican deputy minority leader.

BOB WILSON, 51, Republican, retired Border Patrol agent

Issues: Says his “willingness to go against the grain” will help him institute change. Says he will fight to lower the gas tax and work to freeze new transportation projects, including plans to complete the North Spokane Corridor. Disagrees with state Supreme Court ruling that said the state is underfunding basic education. Supports constitutional amendment requiring supermajority votes to approve tax increases. Says he has concerns about same-sex marriage but probably would have voted in favor of allowing it. Says women in first trimester of pregnancy should have a right to an abortion. Supports charter school initiative. Opposes law that allows local governments to install red light enforcement cameras.

Notable: Wrote a novel aimed at preteens about a boy who had leukemia.

Spokane County Commission

Two seats on the Spokane County Commission are on the ballot this year. Commissioners oversee county government, including budgets and employee contracts. They serve on countywide boards for transit, health, transportation, airport and clean air. In the primary election, only voters from within the commission district decide which candidates advance to the general election. Candidates advance through the primary election solely on the ballots cast by voters in their commission district, then voters nominate candidates by district. Then, they run countywide in the general election. Salary: $100,942, including car and cellphone allowances.

• District 1: This race features a clash of two longtime political figures in Spokane County politics. Democrat John Roskelley is seeking to regain the seat he occupied for nine years from 1995 to 2004. Todd Mielke, a Republican successor, is seeking a third term.

TODD MIELKE, 48, Republican from Spokane; incumbent county commissioner.

Issues: Says he has worked to bring spending in line with taxes, seeking to get the most services for the least cost. Says financial health is seen in the county’s AA bond rating and 9.4 percent reserve fund. Favors moderate growth of the urban area and taking steps to anticipate growth 20 years in advance, including a proposal to extend sewers north of Mead. Defends the county purchase of the racetrack as a recreation alternative and says the land around it is available for other county uses. Counts opening of a new wastewater treatment plant among his accomplishments.

Notable: Served as a staff member in the Legislature and served the 6th District from 1990 to 1995, operating an excavation company at the same time. After 1995, worked as a lobbyist and a consultant. Won his first commission race in 2004 and re-election in 2008.

JOHN ROSKELLEY, 63, Democrat from Spokane; author and mountaineer.

Issues: Is a fiscal conservative who is skeptical about the need for increased taxes to pay for criminal justice. Says his election would break up a solid Republican commission and bring an independent voice to decision making. Opposes expanding the urban growth boundary and extending sewer lines northward from Mead along U.S. Highway 2. Was against county purchase of land for a motorsports racetrack in Airway Heights.

Notable: Served six years on the state’s growth management board. At 63, he’s still climbing mountains and paddling rivers and is currently working on his fifth book.

• District 2: The decision by GOP Commissioner Mark Richard to step down opens the District 2 seat to two newcomers to government.

SHELLY O’QUINN, 37, Republican from Spokane Valley; director of education and workforce development for Greater Spokane Incorporated.

Issues: Wants to promote economic growth through collaboration between government and business. Promises greater efficiency in government operations to help absorb spending cuts. Supports corrections reforms and alternative sentencing. Says growth boundary needs a modest expansion to allow for new housing. Says county’s contribution to GSI is essential for growth of jobs and services.

Notable: Born in Spokane and graduated from Whitworth College. Holds a master’s in business administration. Spent two years in Honduras working for World Vision and was first director of George Nethercutt Foundation for civic leadership education. Previously ran for Washington Legislature.

DARYL ROMEYN, 53, Democrat from Greenacres; former broadcast journalist; organic farmer.

Issues: Proposes an economic growth strategy that involves tourism, military parts manufacturing and small agriculture. Wants cost-cutting in criminal justice and says he’s a fiscal conservative but supports letting voters decide on a sales tax increase for public safety. Opposes countywide expansion of urban growth boundary; wants urban boundary additions considered individually. Opposes the county’s $225,000 annual allocation to Greater Spokane Incorporated, the region’s economic development organization.

Notable: Graduated in film from University of Michigan, worked at KXLY from 1985 to 2003 and at KREM from 2003 to 2010. Ran for U.S. Congress in 2010.


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