GSI Candidate Roundtable Interview – Part 1

One of our goals at GSI is to keep our members informed about 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!

Each week, we will be posting all of the answers to a different question in anticipation of our October Good Morning Greater Spokane event where we will host a forum between Senator Baumgartner and Rich Cowan. Check out which candidates answered this week’s question.

Why are you running for a seat or another term in the State Legislature?

3rd District Representative Pos. 1

Marcus Riccelli (Incumbent)

“Two years ago I promised to hit the ground running for our community and I have followed through on that promise. Together, we have created jobs, made investments in our schools and delivered a fair share for Spokane priorities: $71 million for the North Spokane Corridor; $11.8 million to expand facilities at the NEWTECH Skill Center; $3.38 million for the MAC; expansion of medical education. That’s a down payment on a great future for Spokane families. I am committed to making even greater investments in schools, improving our economy, and protecting our quality of life. I have been a proven advocate for Spokane and I have been strategic. In my first term I was chosen by colleagues to serve as Vice Chair of the Health Care Committee and to a leadership position within our Democratic Caucus all with an eye for how I can most effectively help accomplish priorities for Spokane.You can learn more about what we have delivered and our vision for the future at”

Tim Benn

“I want Spokane businesses and families adequately represented. The 3rd District needs a more inviting climate for job creation. Washington’s regulatory environment is harmful to business – especially small business.”

3rd District Representative Pos. 2

Timm Ormsby (Incumbent)

“I am seeking re-election to the State Legislature to build on some of our region’s previous successes, and to work on issues that would improve our quality of life. I am an unapologetic promoter of Spokane as a community that accomplishes goals in a practical manner and without a lot of fanfare. Olympia could take a page from the Spokane playbook and focus more on policy and funding outcomes for people, and less on who gets credit. Having been born and raised in Spokane, and having raised my own family here, I believe I understand the challenges and aspirations of our community and how to advocate for them in the Legislature. I have been a strong and consistent voice for the policies and funding measures that are unique to our area and make this a special place to live, work and raise a family, and will continue to do so.”

4th District Representative Pos. 1

Bob McCaslin

“I am running because I want to serve. I have a 30+ year career in public service as a teacher, and I spent that time drawing parents together with me to do what was best for their children. I see this as an extension of bringing people together for the good of our State. Being a legislator means being reachable and available to their constituents, and I plan to do just that. I am an avid believer in our State Constitution, and know that if it is followed, great things will happen in the State of Washington.”

Diana Wilhite

“I have the commitment, experience and conviction to serve the people of the 4th Legislative District as their Representative. I want to be part of the solution to bring confidence back to our citizens that government is truly serving them. Listening skills and the ability to work effectively with others to get things accomplished while preserving the values on which this nation was founded are the qualities that I would bring to the legislature.”

4th District Representative Pos. 2

Matt Shea (Incumbent)

“I am running for another term in the State Legislature to continue the fight against unnecessary government expansion, regulation, and increased taxation which places an incredible burden on the day-to-day lives of small business owners, the residents of the 4th District, and the citizens of Washington State.”

Josh Arritola

“If we want better schools, better roads, lower crime and better opportunities, we need healthy local businesses. I’m running because it is time that we as a business community step up and start guiding the political environment in our state. The government cannot create jobs, but it does create an environment where businesses will either thrive or struggle. I’m running against Matt Shea because he has proven to be harmful to business. That is why I’m endorsed by the Association of Washington Business (AWB), Spokane Home Builders Association (SHBA), Association of General Contractors (AGC) and the Association of Realtors. If we are unwilling to stand up for ourselves against politicians that are harmful to our businesses, who will?
When elected, I will work tirelessly to bring Boeing to Spokane, complete the North Spokane Corridor, reform B&O and L&I, and expedite business permitting that would allow businesses to get moving faster.”

6th District Senator

Rich Cowan

“Our Senate has stalled in the areas of job-creation, education, and transportation. Progress must be made in these policy areas if our region is going to successfully emerge from the recession. My opponent is more interested in politics than progress, headlines over deadlines, and taking credit for other people’s work rather than serving on a delegation of stakeholders that can take important projects to the next level.
Under my opponent’s leadership, his caucus failed to bring forth a transportation package. Knowing observers cite fractious party politics as the roadblock. The funding of education remains the most challenging issue of our times and my opponent used legislative time, tax-payer resources, and press releases to mock our State Supreme Court. My opponent takes credit for “bringing a new medical school to Spokane.” The full vision for our University District will only be actualized through continued years of strategic promotions by proven innovative entrepreneurs.”

6th District Representative Pos. 1

Kevin Parker (Incumbent)

“I’m running because we’ve made a lot of progress in the past few years. As one of the few small business owners in the legislature, I’ve been intentional and very focused on bringing budget based principles into state government. I’m passionate that there are people in the legislature that have created jobs and created a structure that empowers the private sector to create job development.”

Donald Dover

“This year, the voters of the Sixth Legislative District have something printed on their ballots that they haven’t had since 2008 — two candidate names to choose from. Giving the voters that opportunity for choice is why I am a candidate. Already, one third of the primary election voters have indicated they appreciate having that choice.”

6th District Representative Pos. 2

Jeff Holy (Incumbent)

“Re-election – to continue to pursue and focus on that single goal I expressed during my first campaign for office: To allow, assist and support economic development in the Spokane region, so as to expand opportunities for those who want to live here. Economic development is defined by a net gain in jobs, which comes from not only attracting new full time living wage jobs to the area, but also supporting those existing employers and helping them to grow.”

Ziggy Siegfried

“I believe it is time we have a regular working class person represent the working families and individuals in Olympia.”

7th District Representative Pos. 1

James R. Apker

“I am running for office because the two party system does not represent all the voice of the people or the constitution of the United States and Washington State. I am sick and tired of over regulation, useless regulation, lack of individual freedom, & politicians who only work for Special Interest, PACs and Large National Corporations.”



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