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October 16, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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October 16, 2014
 

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Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page C-3 2014 GENERAL ELECTION GU SLATIVE DISTRICT REP. POS. 1 Incumbent defeated challenger in 2010, 2012 By NATALIE JOHNSON nata/ie@masoncounty, com Incumbent Kathy Haigh (D-Shel- ton) and challenger Dan Griffey (R- Allyn) will meet for the third consecu- tive time this November in the race for state representative for Pos. 1 in the 35th Legislative District. Haigh narrowly defeated Griffey in 2010 and 2012. "I don't feel like my work is done," Haigh said. "We've been through some really tough times." Haigh, 63, was first elected to the House in 1998. Griffey, 43, a firefight- er with Central Mason Fire & EMS, has not previously served in elected office. "Nothing's getting better, it's only getting worse," Griffey said. "We really have to invest in infrastructure here." Haigh said a major issue in the coming legislative session will be how to fund education as mandated by the Washington Supreme Court's Mc- Cleary decision, which states that the state government must fully fund edu- cation. The state Legislature has until the end of 2015 to make that happen. "There has to be a balance for funding for early childhood as well as higher ed- ucation," she said. Griffey said fully funding education is also one of his major goals. Haigh "We must fund "education first," he said. Griffey said he is in favor of chang- ing the federal No Child Left Behind mandate and said in- class tests and quiz- zes should have more weight than stan- dardized tests when Griffey judging student suc- cess. "No Child Left Behind should mean that if a child needs remediation, we're going to remediate," he said. "If we get the (test) data instantly, we can reme- diate instantly." Griffey's wife, Dinah, is a member of the North Mason School District Board. Haigh proposed changes to the state sales tax. "Anybody who comes to our state should have to pay sales tax," she said. Haigh also said she would be in favor of charging sales tax on bottled AT A GLANCE: 35th Legislative District Representative Pos. 1 Kathy Haigh Prefers Democratic Party Incumbent For more information, go to kathyhaigh.com or email kathaigh@aolcom Dan Griffey Prefers Republican Party Challenger For more information, go to griffey4statehouse.com or email dan@griffey4statehouse.com water Haigh said the legislature also needs to address transportation fund- ing in the next year. Haigh said areas such as the pro- posed Belfair bypass and the intersec- tion of U.S. Highway 101 and Lynch Road should get attention from the legislature. Griffey said he is opposed to a new gasoline tax or a tax per vehicle for miles driven and said the state Depart- ment of Transportation should face re- forms before the legislature looks into increasing revenue. "This community just can't afford another big tax," he said, noting that he is also against a state income tax. "I'm going to be sent there to spend your money wisely." Haigh cautioned against cutting taxes at the state level. "It's really important that we real- ize our tax dollars have to come back to our communities," she said. "It means jobs. Our economy gets hurt by that." Haigh also said she's working on a program to encourage and provide funding for the remodeling and reha- bilitation of downtown areas in small cities. "It's difficult to get rid of old derelict buildings ... or get funding to remodel old buildings on the edge," she said. Griffey is in favor of loosening re- strictions under the state Growth Management Act to encourage more growth. S freshm Newton looks to unseat MacEwen By NATALIE JOHNSON news@masoncounty, com Education and transporta- tion are top priorities for the state, according to both candi- dates running for state Rep- resentative, Position 2, in the 35th District. In the Nov. 4 general elec- tion, Tammey Newton, 43, (D-Allyn) will challenge in- cumbent Drew MacEwen (R- Union). MacEwen, 41, was first elected in 2012. "Regardless of what hap- pens in this election, this is going to be a tough budget," MacEwen said. "We've really got to hunker down" In addition to serving in the state House, MacEwen owns Falcon Financial, an in- vestment firm in Union. Newton is the executive director of Habitat for Hu- manity of Mason County and recently obtained a master's degree in business adminis- tration from the University of Washington's Foster School of Business. "I'm really focused on edu- cation and jobs " she said. "I think economic development is just critical. We're a bar- gain. We've got great power rates, we've got affordable land (and) we've got a work- force that's ready to be en- riched. The reality is we have a choke point and we have no freight mobility." MacEwen also said he is in favor of transportation proj- ects and increasing freight mobility in the state, but said he is opposed to a gasoline tax and in favor of reforms to the Washington state Department of Transportation (DOT). "We need to fix the DOT," MacEwen said. He said transportation projects should be stream- lined and said the state should eliminate sales tax on state transportation projects. Newton said she is also against a gasoline tax to fund transportation projects. "New revenue does not al- ways mean new taxes," she said. "We need to look at per- formance auditing and we have got to look at closing loopholes." Newton suggested creat- ing a "think-tank" of House representatives from rural districts to help explain how a gas tax could dispropor- tionately affect rural drivers. They could also advocate for rural areas. "Relationships are impor- tant and we've got to start building relationships across the aisle and across the rotun- da," Newton said. Both candidates discussed education funding as required by the Wash- ington state Supreme MacEwen Court's Mc- Cleary deci- sion, which states that the state government must fully fund educa- tion. "That's really the first thing Newton we've got to do," Newton said. MacEwen, who is the assis- tant ranking minority mem- ber of the House Capital Bud- get Committee, said the state can expect $2.6 billion in new revenue in the next budget "Let's take $2 billion of that for education," he said. MacEwen said three-quar- ters of new revenue in 2014 went to education. He also said the state will soon be subject to a federal court order to replace under- sized culverts that are affect- ing salmon numbers. "We have to have all this fixed," he said. "It has to be done (in) this budget cycle." Newton said she would AT A GLANCE: 35th Legislative District Representative Pos. 2 Drew MacEwen Prefers Republican Party Incumbent For more information, go to votedrewmac.com or email votedrewmac@gmail.com Tammey Newton Prefers Democratic Party Challenger For more information, go to tammeynewton.com or email tammey@tammeynewton.com prioritize low-income housing and state spending on voca- tional, technical and higher education. She said the eco- nomic downturn has lasted so long that some people no lon- ger have skills to re-enter the workforce. "That's why we need to look at higher education," she said. "We have just simply got to get people back to work." MacEwen said he had a successful first term in the state House, but said the ex- perience was l a little over- whelming "The biggest thing, when you go in there, (it's like) you're drinking from a fire hose. It's fast! paced You ve just got to take a step back and take it all in," he said. "As a freshman in the minority party of the house I had two bills passed and signed into law," he said. One bill amended the Vet- erans Innovations Program, which helps veterans get ac- cess to education, training and employment assistance. The second extended a pro- gram allowing the licensing of Christmas tree growers. "I look forward to going back to Olympia in January," MacEwen said. If re-elected, MacEwen said he plans to continue work on transportation reform bills, increasing freight mobility and reforming the state Busi- ness & Occupation tax. DON'T FORGET GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT ARE DUE 4