City: Spokane, WA
Occupation: Coffee shop owner
Education: Undergraduate degree from Whitworth University; MBA from George Fox University; executive leadership studies at Harvard University.
Work experience: Owns several Spokane coffee shops; adjunct professor at Whitworth and Gonzaga universities; incumbent state representative; was working as a volunteer youth counselor at Columbine High School during the 1999 massacre that killed 13 and injured 21 others.
Political experience: Three terms in the Washington House of Representatives.
Several area state legislators accepted campaign contributions from a BP employees’ political action committee after this year’s disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – including two Democrats in tough re-election battles. BP political action committees have given to almost 50 campaigns in Washington since the spill.
A Spokane legislative district tops the state for money raised by candidates, and is near the top for spending that money before the August primary. The 6th Legislative District – which curves around central Spokane’s core from the Whitworth area to the South Hill – is often a pricey political battleground. Its last three state Senate races have been the three most expensive in state history, with the 2006 contest between Democrat Chris Marr and Republican incumbent Brad Benson at the top of the list. Nearly $818,000 was spent in that race for a seat that pays just over $42,000 per year.
Among the most thankless jobs in the world is that of a political candidate in Washington state in the weeks before the August primary. The ability to continue the noble quest for elective office depends on voters who are just returning from vacation, on vacation or preparing for vacation.
OLYMPIA – A new tax proposal would place unfair burdens on a wide range of residents, from janitors to plastic surgeons and cigar sellers to candy makers, opponents of the plan said Tuesday. It would also raise money for schools, colleges, the poor and the sick, supporters of the proposal said.
OLYMPIA – Conservative activists in Idaho and Washington are trying to force the federal government to keep out of issues such as guns, health care and the environment. Through legislation and initiatives, people aligned with what’s variously known as the 10th Amendment or State Sovereignty movement are trying to pass state laws that limit what the federal government can do within a state’s borders.