North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Chamber hosts candidates forum


Courtesy Photo

Katrina Ondracek, one of the candidates for the 44th District House of Representatives Position 2 seat.

Candidates in the Washington state 44th District races will come out to a candidates forum on Sept. 30 that will be hosted by the Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce.

The forum will be hosted at the chamber's meeting on Sept. 30, beginning at 7:30 a.m., at the Tulalip Resort Casino.

The 44th District includes parts of south Marysville, including the Sunnyside area, and Lake Stevens, Snohomish and Mill Creek.

Candidates for the district's two seats in the Washington State House of Representatives are scheduled to talk at the forum.

Those candidates include Democrat John Lovick and Republican Janice Huxford who are competing for the Position 1 seat, and Republican Mark Harmsworth and Democrat Katrina Ondracek who are competing for the Position 2 seat.

Jesica Stickles, president of the Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce, said that the chamber looked at the two races in the 44th District because they were the closest in the Aug. 2 primary vote.

"So we felt that these were the races that the community needed more education on to make their decision," she said.

Lovick received 50.81 percent of the vote and Huxford 46.14 percent of the vote in August, while Harmsworth received 51.25 percent and Ondracek received 32.01 percent in their race.

Some other races in the area were more solidly one-sided, said Stickles, and historically those types of races don't tend to change much in the general election, she said.

Stickles said that bringing the candidates out helps the public make a better analysis of their choices.

"It gives the community a chance to meet the candidates in a real-life situation and see how they answer questions under pressure, and see how act when they're not around cameras," she said.

Candidates will discuss a broad range of issues.

"We'll be talking about transportation and education, both the funding with the McCleary decision and higher ed," said Stickles.

They'll also be asked about a couple of the state's initiatives, including initiative 1443, which would phase in a $13.50 per hour minimum wage, and on initiative 732, which is meant to add a carbon tax but reduce the state sales tax.

Candidates at the forum will also ask each other questions.

Courtesy Photo

Mark Harmsworth, one of the candidates for the 44th District House of Representatives Position 2 seat.

"I think one of the things we do at this chamber that is different from others is that we allow the candidates to ask each other questions," said Stickles.

"They know each other's differences more than we do, and they might want to draw upon and show those differences, so this gives them a chance to do that," she said.

Stickles said the public usually like candidates forums hosted by the chamber "because people in the community don't have a lot of opportunities to come out and hear the candidates about their points of view," she said.

The chamber's October meeting will also have politic discussion with candidates for the state's Lt. Governor seat and the pro and con sides for Initiative 1443.

More information about the Greater cxMarysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce's events are at


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