City: Republic, WA
Occupation: State senator
Education: Associate of arts degree, Walla Walla Community College. Graduated from Republic High School.
Work experience: Former golf pro, contractor.
Political experience: Elected Ferry County commissioner 2010. Elected state senator 2013.
Family: Married, one son.
Progressives appear poised to regain control of the Spokane City Council.
The battle between an appointed incumbent and a county commissioner for the state Senate seat in Northeast Washington has turned increasingly negative, generating charges of tax-dodging, union-coddling, trash-talking and even a possible death threat. The usual issues have come up, like helping the economy, finding jobs for the next generation, protecting gun rights and reining in government. But there are unusual things, too, like a tanker full of human waste with a political message on the back, specifically adapted for this year’s special election race in the 7th District.
Most years, it’s considered an advantage to hold the office you are seeking in the upcoming election. Brian Dansel and Mike Brunson, who are challenging appointed Sen. John Smith for the seat in northeast Washington’s sprawling 7th District, are hoping 2013 isn’t like most years. Being in the state Senate is not exactly a badge of honor after a prolonged session that needed nearly 50 extra days to accomplish the Legislature’s primary goal of passing the operating budget.