Spokane-area legislative races attracted more first-time candidates Wednesday as Washington’s primary ballot continues to lengthen.
Northeast Washington’s 7th Legislative District, which is among the state’s largest, had three new candidates file for seats in the House of Representatives.
Randy Michaelis, interim dean of Whitworth University’s School of Education, filed as a Democrat to challenge Republican incumbent Jacquelin Maycumber. Michaelis, 66, said part of the impetus for his run was the suicide of his daughter, who suffered from mental illness, in 2016.
Michaelis, who describes himself a “classic moderate,” said he’s interested in Gov. Jay Inslee’s plans to increase state mental health services and how to get more state resources into some rural parts of the 7th. He’s also concerned about the tone of the country’s political discourse.
Two candidates filed for the other House seat currently occupied by Republican Joel Kretz, who is expected to file for re-election.
Christine A. Ives, a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes and former paralegal who has worked with tribal and state courts, is running without a party preference. She said she agrees with Republicans on some issues and with Democrats on others.
Ives, 47, supports greater access to health care, gun rights along with gun safety, and improvements in public safety. While she wouldn’t be a part of either caucus if elected, she said she would hope to decide which party to work with “based on the issue.”
Mike Bell, a retired certified public accountant, is running for the seat as a Democrat. He said he wants to work on state improvements to education from public schools through colleges and health care, which was focus of his CPA firm specializing in hospitals and clinics.
Bell, 67, has worked on congressional campaigns, an initiative to get money out of politics and another to fine coal and oil trains coming through Spokane. He would like to find ways to make the state’s tax system less regressive and less dependent on sales and property taxes. He said he won’t take money from corporations or political action committees that represent them.
In other legislative races, Dave Wilson, a one-time independent candidate for Congress, and Jenny Graham, who has been active in extending the statute of limitations for people who commit sex crimes against children, entered the race for an open seat in Spokane’s 6th Legislative District. Wilson is running as a Democrat, Graham as a Republican.
Dumpozzie Dot Com, the new legal name for the former Scott Maclay, filed as an independent for Spokane County sheriff.
Here’s a list of candidates who filed for office late Tuesday or Wednesday for offices on the primary ballot in the Spokane area:
U.S. Senate: Joey Gibson, Dave Strider
6th Legislative District: Pos. 2, Dave Wilson, Jenny Graham
7th Legislative District: Pos. 1, Randall (Randy) Michaelis; Pos. 2, Christine A. Ives, Mike Bell
County sheriff: Dumpozzie Dot Com
District Court: Pos.1, Lynden Smithson; Pos. 4, Patti Connolly Walker; Pos. 6 Debra R. Hayes