GSI Candidate Roundtable Interview – Part 8

What are your hopes for your district and how do you plan to realize them?

One of our goals at GSI is to keep our members informed on public policy issues that could affect their business. That is why we are hosting an online candidate forum for all state legislative candidates running in Spokane County this year. Don’t know which district you live in?  Find out here!

If you’re interested in hearing more from local candidates, then be sure to join GSI as we host the United States 5th Congressional District candidates for a debate on national issues that have a direct effect on our local community.

Each week, we have been posting all of the answers to a different question in anticipation of the general election. Check out which candidates answered this week’s question “What are your hopes for your district and how do you plan to realize them?”

3rd District Representative Pos. 1

Marcus Riccelli (Incumbent)

“We are raising our family in Spokane because we love it here and believe in our potential as a community. We want our two young children to have not only the same opportunities we have had, but even greater opportunities. Our kids need to go to first-rate public schools that prepare them for a college education they can afford, and be able to get jobs right here. I will help realize our goals as a community by continuing on my strong track record of working with members of my own caucus and in a bi-partisan fashion. I have not just talked about good ideas I have brought them to fruition. I passed seven bills and authored two more that were signed into law — from protecting our newborns to providing taxpayers greater transparency. To me running for office is a job interview — and all 137,226 citizens are my employers. When they look at my resume I believe they will see that we have moved Spokane and our state forward together. I want to continue this work for all of our kids and grandkids.”

Tim Benn

“I would like to see the North-South freeway completed to invite manufacturing and warehousing/distribution back to the area.

Reduce the jobless rate which will require a more comprehensive investigation of the employment figures. As I doorbell, I am struck by the employment-opportunity gap. Many college-degreed residents are not able to utilize their education in today’s economy.

I believe for every bill there needs to be a family impact statement of how it impacts the quality of life for families in my district. Strong families = strong communities = strong economy.”

4th District Representative Pos. 1

Bob McCaslin

“Basically, the 4th District is made up of mostly fiscally conservative people. I think my legislative philosophy reflects that. I want to see a populace that sees being involved with their community as a paramount importance. Successful businesses, a transparent City Council, servant Representatives that listen, and a public that trust their government contribute to this. I will follow through with what I promise, and that will contribute to the solutions we need to earn public trust.”

Diana Wilhite

“My hopes are to communicate effectively with the citizens of the 4th Legislative District and show them how their tax dollars have been spent, and the benefits the community has derived from this expenditure. We must work on passing legislation that provides for a better business climate in the State.”

4th District Representative Pos. 2

Matt Shea (Incumbent)

“My hope for the district is to help provide an environment where businesses are in the best position to create jobs, and I will do that by removing or blocking undue government burdens (taxes, fees, regulations, etc.).”

Josh Arritola

“I come from a broken family — eventually my sister and I were abandoned and homeless. We were taken in by a loving family and I graduated from college, was commissioned into the Air Force, and started my own business.

Only in America can you go from being a homeless child to starting and running a successful business.

I’m running because I want to help create the environment where kids like me can go from poverty to success by hard work and providence.”

6th District Senator

Michael Baumgartner (Incumbent)

“My hope is to continue to work as a Senator for the people to make the Spokane and Cheney area the best place to get an education, raise a family and find great jobs. I plan to realize this goal by continuing to work in a pragmatic, bi-partisan and solution-minded fashion as a state Senator who knows that I work for the people of my community. Not the other way around.”

Rich Cowan

“I was born here and I co-founded North-by-Northwest Productions nearly 25 years ago. We wanted to grow the creative economy in Spokane so that we could raise our families here and provide jobs that allowed our employees to do the same. Twenty-five years later we continue to experience growth in this industry as we create jobs and bring millions of dollars of revenue into the area.

My hopes for my friends and neighbors in the Greater Spokane area center on the ability for people from all walks of life to participate in and help grow a robust and vibrant economy. I believe that well-paid workers seek more civic involvement and charitable activity, make healthier life choices, experience less crime and drive increased innovation.

I will provide the moderate, responsible leadership that this district needs to thrive. I will work to create jobs and invest in our schools and our infrastructure. I would appreciate your vote. For me Spokane is home, not a political stepping stone.”

6th District Representative Pos. 1

Kevin Parker (Incumbent)

“My hope is for businesses to thrive, reduce crime rates, and prioritize education. Ultimately, I’d love to see people who go away for college and come back to Spokane to build their lives and businesses here. Spokane must be a community in which businesses are encouraged to thrive.

Washington State loses a lot of tech startup companies to the Silicon Valley; I’d like to keep these companies in-state by creating an environment in which high-tech growth is a premier area of entrepreneurship.”

Donald Dover

“Forty years ago I learned that our communities can be healthy places to live, learn, and work. I learned that using resources ethically is a virtue, that pollution should be discouraged, and that creative land redevelopment can enhance the livability of struggling, yet proud, communities. Forty years ago I learned those lessons from Expo ’74. Today, I want to be a part of continuing to fulfill the legacy of the fair by supporting legislation and partnerships that will ensure that our communities continue to be places we are proud to call home.”

6th District Representative Pos. 2

Ziggy Siegfried

“I want to increase voter turnout and political participation in the 6th Legislative District. I want more family-wage jobs and a better living standard for working families in my District and throughout Washington. I will support any attempt to achieve this.”

7th District Representative Pos. 1

James R. Apker

“My hope for my district is for them be more self-sufficient — starting businesses, seeing a need and filling that need locally. I hope I can help my district by looking for new companies who are looking to move from their current location or looking to expand, to go and see them directly and make the case to expand or move to the 7th District, which is part of my job as a Representative. But most of all it is speaking less and listening more to properly represent the people of the 7th.”


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