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Chamber hosts candidates forum


Candidates for many local races talked about their policies at a candidate forum on Oct. 11 hosted by the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce.

The candidates are on the ballot for the upcoming Nov. 8 general election.

District 39 State Legislative Seat

Republican John Koster and Democrat Ronda Metcalf are up for election in the Washington state legislature District 39 seat.

District 39 covers parts of Arlington and most of rural Snohomish and Skagit counties.

Koster was born and raised in Arlington and has served in this seat before as well as on the Snohomish County Council.

“The biggest thing is going to be the McCleary Decision and how the state resolves that,” said Koster.

He also hopes to reduce regulations that are hurting small business, he said, and improve transportation.

“We have to deal with congestion and prioritize our funds for relieving congestion,” he said.

Metcalf is the manager of the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, is an Army veteran and is from Darrington.

She said the state has to work together for solutions for families for problems like mental health and substance abuse. She helped her tribe institute a $15 minimum wage and since then their operating has grown by millions of dollars.

“If you live in Snohomish County and want to rent and have a family, you really need to make at least $22,” she said.

District 2 U.S. Congress Seat

Republican Marc Hennemann and Democrat Rick Larsen are up for election for the U.S. Congress District 2 seat.

Washington’s Second District covers the northwest coast of the state from Bellingham to Mill Creek and the San Juan Islands.

Marc Hennemann is a retired teacher from Camano Island.

He said he is a Republican that is not completely anti-government. “It was a government program that got me my first teaching job after I left the Air Force,” he said.

Hennemann said he will work to support veterans and veterans healthcare. He questioned some of Larsen’s votes like a vote against “a bill in congress just a couple weeks ago that would have made it easier to fire people who don’t do their jobs.”

Arlington local Rick Larsen is running for a ninth term in the congressional seat.

As the only congressman from Washington state on the transportation committee, he said he will continue to support transportation improvements.

“Transportation means jobs here in the Pacific Northwest,” he said.

This session, Larsen said seven pieces of his legislation have become law or part of another law, including a bill that supports veterans hired by the FAA and a state trade export promotion program.

County Superior Court Position 3

Cindy Larsen and Rico Tessandore are running for the third position on the Snohomish County Superior Court.

Larsen has worked in Snohomish County for more than two decades and been part of the county’s prosecutor’s office since 1997.

“As a prosecutor it is your job to make sure justice is done,” and she hopes she can continue that as a judge.

She wants to start a mental health court in the Superior Court.

“I’m passionate about mental health and how people who are affected by mental health issues are treated once they reach court,” she said.

Tessandore has been an attorney that has practiced in many areas including criminal defense, prosecution and civil defense the past 17 years.

He hopes to make courts more accessible for lower-income residents, which he calls a fundamental right.

“You should have access to the court system. You should not be priced out of the court system,” he said.

Part of the problem, he said, was that the county’s civil rules have “not been updated to reflect the rules of today’s society.”


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