Two vie for Senate seat - Dayton Chronicle
To be an effective Senator that can represent this district it takes knowledge of the history and the needs of those many businesses and residents who call this place home. I am the only candidate that has that deep history. I have grown up and lived here my entire life, graduating from Prescott High School and earning a degree in Economics from Whitman College. I am married to lifelong resident Darleen Smith and have two grown sons which graduated from Waitsburg High School and Washington State University. We belong to the Presbyterian Church and we have volunteered our time in these communities for many years. My farming operation has been in both Walla Walla and Columbia counties consisting of both dryland and irrigated ground.
My representation in eastern Washington state began over 20 years ago when I was elected as an officer to the Washington Association of Wheat Growers serving as President in 2001 and then elected as a state Barley Commissioner. Serving during this time I not only worked with our state legislators and departments but also our congressional leaders advocating for the grain industry in our state. Agriculture is the foundation for the 16th district and my life experiences with farming is a quality that neither of my opponents has which will provide our farmers with a direct voice in Olympia as I will continue to be an advocate for this industry.
In 2008 I was elected as a Walla Walla County Commissioner serving two terms. Many of the committees I served on represented multiple counties; these included Snake River Salmon Recovery Board, Walla Walla Watershed Partnership, Greater Columbia Behavioral Health, and Aging and Long–Term Care. Working with many commissioners from other counties was a benefit to understand their needs and issues.
The values we share in our small communities are important to me. The businesses that serve our residents and especially our schools which provide a sense of pride add to the strength and bond within our communities. I will continue to support and protect the funding that is dedicated to our schools as your next senator. I am a proponent of property rights and will always protect those rights which are afforded to us.
As a Walla Walla County Commissioner, I chaired the budget committee for five years. This was during a period of recession. We were able to have a balanced budget without increasing property taxes and maintain a healthy reserve fund while retaining our same level of service to the residents. I will take this knowledge and experience with me to Olympia as this next session will present many of the same issues I have experienced.
I am the most qualified and experienced candidate that will work to maintain your quality of life, your values in a small community, and provide businesses an opportunity to succeed.