Important candidates for Arlington talk at forum
Candidates for county, state and national seats talked at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s candidate’s forum on Oct. 14.
Candidates in several important upcoming races faced off during an Arlington Chamber of Commerce meeting at a candidate’s forum on Oct. 14.
The eight campaigners, including candidates for Snohomish County Executive, the U.S. Congress seat for Washington’s 2nd District, the state legislature 39th District position and the county sheriff position, showed up to discuss themselves and their viewpoints.
Snohomish County Executive
Lovick has experience as part of the state coast guard, Washington state Patrol, the state legislature, Sheriff and as the county executive for a little more than a year.
He describes his priorities as “good schools, good roads and good jobs,” which he hopes to continue if elected for a full term.
“We should continue the great work of having good jobs in this community, having good safe schools and work in our legislature to have our world-class transportation system,” he said.
When people come to our communities one of the first things they want to know is how good and safe the schools are, said Lovick, therefore he wants to ensure that the county’s education is high quality.
Opponent Carolyn Eslick is a 13-year elected official, the mayor of Sultan, owner of the Dutch Cup restaurant and she also assists in running “Grow Washington” which has helped more than 500 small businesses.
She believes in fiscal responsibility, offering an environment that will help small business thrive and grow small and providing family-wage jobs.
In particular, Eslick disagreed with the ten percent increase in wages that occurred for much of the county’s cabinet under Lovick, and said those wages should be brought down to a more reasonable level.
“I also believe that we need to be giving the work to social service organizations that understand the work and the government needs to stay out of areas they do not know anything about,” she said.
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington 2nd District
The U.S. Congress seat for the District 2 (from north Everett to Bellingham) race is between Democrat Rick Larsen and Republican B.J. Guillot.
The incumbent Larsen was raised in Arlington and has served in Congress since 2000.
Transportation issues are one of his major priorities and he hopes to pass a bill that includes support for the state’s needs.
“In the Pacific Northwest, transportation means jobs, think about the manufacturing corridor and the products made to market, we need a good transportation system to move our freights and goods,” he said.
He said he reaches across party aisles when he can, including an aviation bill he is currently working on with a Republican.
Larsen also says he hasn’t forgotten about his district. “I still maintain a local focus. I get an opportunity to work on national issues and international issues, but if I don’t do the job here at home I shouldn’t have the privilege of serving you,” he said.
Guillot is originally from Texas but currently resides in Marysville.
One of his biggest priorities is balancing the national budget and reining in the national debt.
“Every single day the national debt is growing by $2.4 billion dollars and we need to do something about that,” he said.
Guillot hopes to tackle issues like the NSA’s invasion of privacy, the increased train traffic coming to Marysville and the Affordable Care Act, which he believes has some good aspects which need to be picked out of the parts that hurt small businesses, he says.
Like Larsen, Guillot believes in bipartisanship and that “elements of compromise” are necessary for Congress’ work. He describes himself as a “moderate republican,” pointing to the hybrid car he drives and the solar panels installed on his house.
Washington State Representative, 39th District
The 39th district for the state legislature (which covers parts of Arlington, Granite Falls, Darrington and more) is between incumbent Republican Elizabeth Scott and Democrat Charles Jensen.
Scott describes herself as a “farm girl” from Illinois who fights for property rights, smaller government, less taxes and less regulation.
As a supporter of fiscal responsibility she has come out against the potential carbon fuel tax that Governor Inslee proposed and the $15 minimum wage law.
Although known as a small government supporter, she points to bills she has helped pass, including giving benefits to families who had firefighters who died in the line of duty. Currently she is working on a student privacy bill to make school’s data collection more transparent and give parents more control over that data.
Jensen, a schoolteacher and former member of the U.S. Air Force, said the biggest concern for upcoming legislative sessions is the McCleary decision, which will force the legislature to increase funding to schools.
He says someone who can reach compromise is needed for that task.
“My opponent espouses the idea of less taxes and less government, but sometimes I think it gets to the point where we shouldn’t say ‘no’ to everything and get scared of government,” says Jensen.
Jensen says he also supports improving transportation infrastructure and supporting living wage jobs in the area.
He also points to Scott’s vote against House Bill 1108, which would remove the spousal exemptions for third degree rape and indecent liberties. Scott was the sole dissenting vote.
Third degree rape is defined by the state as rape without the elements of second or first degree rape, which include violence or kidnapping. Indecent liberties are sexual contact without consent, and include contact by forcible compulsion or if the victim was mentally incapacitated.
These crimes were not applicable to spouses under the old legislation.
Scott voted against the bill because she was worried the language was too broad, particularly for indecent liberties, and that spouses who are touching while sleeping would be committing a felony.
The jail is one of the main issues in the race for Snohomish County Sheriff between Ty Trenary and Jim Upton.
Trenary has 25 years of law enforcement experience and serves as the current sheriff.
His goals are to put more deputies patrolling the streets who will be “responsive to citizens” and believes in returning to the tenets of community policing.
The Snohomish County Jail has come under criticism because of recent deaths and medical problems, and Trenary wants to make sure there’s continued transparency about the facility.
He says they’ve faced problems, but they’re moving forward with solutions.
He also contends that the county can’t just use the jail to “put people away you don’t want to see.” The facility is currently the largest mental health hospital in the county and one of the largest addiction treatment facilities and that jail cannot be the default answer to mental illness and addiction.
Upton is a retired navy officer, transplant from California and currently is a detective sergeant at the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
His main priorities are leadership, accountability, fiscal responsibility and he specifically mentions the jail as a service that needs improving.
“I think we need to find someone in the county or the state or the nation with the experience and leadership to run a jail. To come in and say ‘yes, we can in fact put people in who’ve taken heroin.’ To turn them away and put them into society to be a problem for our citizens is wrong,” he said.
Upton hopes to do a nation-wide search to find leadership for the jail.