Republican Laura Carder’s campaign isn’t just an effort to land a seat in the state House of Representatives in the historically Democratic 3rd Legislative District. It’s a statement.
She wants voters to have a choice, and hopes her conservative campaign can leverage what she sees as underrepresented issues in the district, which constitutes a large swath of downtown Spokane.
“I don’t think our representatives really represent the people,” Carder said.
While there is Republican support in the district, “They’d rather focus on winnable elections,” she said, making it a challenge at times to find volunteer support and energize voters.
The district, however, leans heavily in favor of Democratic candidates, and her opponent, longtime incumbent Democrat Timm Ormsby, said he’s looking out for the residents who live in it.
“When I go to Olympia and do the job, I’m constantly thinking of the people I’m there on behalf of.
“I consider it a very high honor,” he said in an interview earlier this summer. “The thing that I want to do most is craft budgets and policies that reflect the values of our communities.”
In the August primary elections, Carder garnered 29 percent of the vote, while Ormsby, landed 63 percent. A Libertarian came in third with 8 percent.
Moving forward, she hopes to invigorate Republican voters and sway independents and soft Democrats her way.
Carder plans to continue canvassing and speaking with voters about her platform, which includes teaching “creation science” alongside evolution, increasing private-sector jobs while reducing government social services, and granting immunity from legal action to Christian-run businesses that don’t want to provide their services to same-sex couples. She also doesn’t want taxpayers to have to fund Planned Parenthood, and said parents should have the right to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children.
When filing, Carder opted for mini reporting with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, meaning she would raise and spend no more than $5,000, including any charges for inclusion in state and local voters pamphlets, and not accept more than $500 total from any one donor.
In contrast, Ormsby’s campaign had raised about $81,237 as of Monday.
He said as the general election approaches, the campaign’s focus is on continuing to engage voters and developing a plan to meet court-mandated obligations for mental health and education, while also protecting other social services critical to constituents in the 3rd District, one of the poorer in the state.
“My primary concern is being accountable to the residents of the 3rd District and their priorities and values,” he said.
Ormsby is seeking his seventh term. He was named chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in May, and is relying largely on his political experience to secure another term in office.
Regarding his opponent, he said, “I think that she is right – we should have contested elections. Voters should have choices. I’m happy to run on the record that I’ve accumulated. I’m happy to have that be a part of the conversation.”
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