|Joel Kretz (R)||32,496||63.92%|
|Robert “Bob” Wilson (R)||18,341||36.08%|
* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.
About The Race
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.
Legislators are paid $42,106 annually, plus healthcare benefits. House terms are two years.
- Wauconda, Washington
Education: Graduated from Mercer Island High School in 1975. Attended Olympic College and Green River College.
Political Experience: Elected to current House seat representing the 7th Legislative District every two years since 2004. Has served as deputy minority leader.
Work Experience: Owns a ranch, raises cattle and horses, and has a small timber business; former president of Okanogan County Farm Bureau.
Family: Married. Has adult son.
Campaign contributions: Raised about $88,700, as of Oct. 5, 2020. Top donors include the Washington Beverage Association Political Action Committee, Georgia-Pacific Company, BNSF Railway Company and Philips 66 Company.
- Ione, WA
Career: Retired in 2009 after 25 years in U.S. Border Patrol, including six as the supervisor of the patrol’s office in Metaline Falls. Wrote book aimed at young teens about a boy with leukemia.
Education: Graduated from Sunnyside High School. Earned bachelor’s in wildlife biology from Washington State University.
Political experience: Ran for Pend Oreille County Sheriff.
Family: Divorced. Has school-age daughter and two adult children.
OLYMPIA – State Rep. Joel Kretz wants Western Washington to enjoy one of the “advantages” Eastern Washington has: wolves. Kretz, R-Wauconda, has introduced a bill that would allow the Department of Fish and Wildlife to “translocate” wolves captured in Eastern Washington to the other side of the state where, he said, they seem to have more fans.
State Rep. Joel Kretz isn’t a Republican you would expect to see challenged for his seat by another Republican. He’s ranked highly by state business groups that generally lean Republican and he’s the party’s deputy minority leader in the House.
It took more than six years, several legislative struggles, a raft of sniggering jokes, and the unlikely alliance of a conservative Eastern Washington Republican and a progressive environmental group, but there’s a beaver on Bodie Creek. State Rep. Joel Kretz’s idea for a more natural way to improve Eastern Washington aquifers is getting a trial run on his ranch outside Wauconda, Wash.
JOEL KRETZ, Republican Did not respond to requests to complete The Spokesman-Review’s legislative candidate’s questionnaire.
1. Why do you feel that you are the best candidate? Legislative District 7 is mainly a rural district. I grew up on a small farm in the Yakima Valley. I cut asparagus, picked cherries and even baled hops in the summers while I was at WSU. I am a hunter and hiker and have knowledge of the land through my education and life experience. I have real-life experience and have had to work throughout my life without having anything handed to me. My well-rounded background, my education and my willingness to go against the grain will allow me to institute the changes we need in Washington State.
OLYMPIA – Beavers making a nuisance of themselves in Western Washington could be relocated to areas in Eastern Washington that need their help in damming streams, but the furry critters from Eastern Washington couldn’t be shipped west under a bill approved Wednesday by the Washington Senate. Seems there are already too many of the tree-chomping rodents west of the Cascades.