Seventh District candidates for Representative

Voters in the state’s 7th Legislative District will get the chance to decide who will represent them in the upcoming general election.

(Linda J. Smith) Cherry trees fully in bloom at the state capital in Olympia.

(Linda J. Smith) Cherry trees fully in bloom at the state capital in Olympia.

Voters in the state’s 7th Legislative District will get the chance to decide who will represent them in the House of Representatives in the upcoming general election. We asked the candidates for the two Seventh District Legislative Positions to answer a few questions about who they were, their experience and what they feel are the most important issues affecting the seventh district, as well as the state. Here’s what they had to say.

House of Representatives, Position 2

JJ Wandler

JJ Wandler

Tell us about yourself:

My name is JJ Wandler. I grew up just to the south of Okanogan County in Douglas County – East Wenatchee to be more specific. I currently live in the 7th Legislative District in North Spokane County. I am a single father of two young daughters, ages seven and five. I volunteer my time to help people with addiction issues and as a fundraising organizer for a local non-profit radio station, KYRS.

Your qualifications & experience:

This is my first time running for an elected office (outside of high school, many years ago). I have a Bachelors degree in English, but also took history and political science classes in college. I am passionate and dedicated to bettering the lives of the residents of the 7th Legislative District. I have been open to the concerns and ideas that all of the residents of the 7th LD have brought to me.

Why do you want to be elected?

I am running to represent the 7th Legislative District because I think it’s time for a change. After nearly two decades of the same leadership, nothing has really gotten better for the residents of the 7th. I’m running with new ideas, no corporate donations, and a desire to serve the people.

Most important issues?

  1. The Coronavirus pandemic and our state’s response– There’s no doubt that Covid-19 is real and can be deadly for persons in at risk categories. I supported the initial shutdown and stay at home order as necessary to flatten the curve to give our hospitals and clinics time to prepare. However, as this has drug on for months, we’ve seen no further phased reopening, despite businesses and individuals following the mask mandate and the other best practices recommended by the health care professionals. We need to reopen and our state needs to provide financial support and incentives to small businesses that have been decimated by the extended shutdown.
  2. Healthcare– The pandemic has made it abundantly clear that employer offered health insurance is of no use if you’ve lost your job. Hundreds of thousands in our state are out of work and uninsured. I want Washington State to enact universal healthcare using the Whole Washington Plan as a blueprint. It would offer comprehensive medical, dental and vision with no co-pays. A cancer diagnosis or a car accident shouldn’t cause someone to have to file for bankruptcy and to lose their life savings and home. Washington needs universal healthcare.
  3. Revenue– Our state budget is in dire shape which means money for public works projects, essential services, and education is going to be in short supply. The legislature is going to try to make up that shortfall on the backs of the working class with tax increases on gas, property, and goods and services. I do not support any tax increases on the working class. Our entire budget deficit and assistance to small business should be made up with a luxury income tax on incomes over $1,000,000, a corporate income tax on the billion and trillion dollar companies that are based in Washington and financial transaction and capital gains taxes. The billionaire class has gotten richer during the pandemic while most residents are struggling– it’s time the wealthy paid their share.

Joel Kretz

Joel Kretz

(from his website)

Tell us about yourself:

Kretz is a lifelong Washingtonian who grew up on Mercer Island and now makes his home in Wauconda, in Okanogan County, where he raises horses and cattle.

Your qualifications & experience:

He attended Green River Community College and Olympic Community College before moving to Eastern Washington to live and work off the land. He has been involved with the Okanogan Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association and Coalition for Property Rights.

As the deputy leader for the House Republican Caucus, Joel has been involved in budget and other high-level policy negotiations across the aisle. His position allows him to advocate even more for the unique needs and values of rural Washington and to fight for a smaller, smarter government.

Why do you want to be elected?

His legislative priorities are private-sector job creation and responsible land management. Northeast Washington has lagged behind other counties with high unemployment rates. He believes the best way to get people back to work is to get government out of the way of job creators, which will boost individual and family incomes, providing adequate resources for the core functions of government.

Important issues?

People working on the land have always been true conservationists, since their livelihoods depend on healthy animals and the environment. The candidate wants to see the state be responsible with its resources, focused on maintaining current resources of state land and being responsive to citizens who live, work and recreate in and near state lands.

House of Representatives, Position 1

Georgia Davenport

Georgia Davenport

Tell us about yourself:

I am a mother of an eight-year-old student in Nine Mile Falls, my husband is a veteran of the Iraq War and we are so happy to live in beautiful Stevens County. I have been a Campaign Director and Field Director for Whole Washington, the universal healthcare campaign in Washington State. I have volunteered at Mary’s Place; Habitat for Humanity; Big Brother’s Big Sister’s (Big Sister of the Year 2005); Relay for Life; PTA, and I have been a preschool and elementary school volunteer.

Your qualifications & experience:

I have been a Precinct Committee Officer for several years: TUM TUM and three years in Normandy Park; four years as a Washington State Democratic Central Committee Member 2017-2020 (Legislative District 33 and 7). I have an Associate Degree in Computer Information Systems/Multimedia and Web Technology, four years on Dean’s List; two year on National Dean’s List; Gold Certificate of Academic Achievement.

Why do you want to be elected?

I am running to represent Legislative District 7 because our world is in crisis and politics as usual won’t solve the issues we face. We must confront our challenges head on. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we had a preexisting healthcare crisis in our country. In Washington state alone, hundreds of thousands of residents had no healthcare coverage and that was before millions of Americans lost their jobs. In our district here in Eastern Washington, rural hospitals are suffering and more and more people rely on life flight to get them to the nearest provider. We need to pass the Whole Washington Universal Healthcare trust to save lives, hospitals, and billions of dollars annually. In 2018, I was the Campaign Director for Whole Washington and led the effort to collect over 100,000 signatures for universal healthcare. I want to continue the fight for universal healthcare as your representative in the legislature.

Most important issues?

Many legislators are talking about austerity measures due to the economic repercussions of the pandemic. But we have 13 billionaires living in Western Washington that don’t pay any state income tax while families find themselves unable to afford the high cost of housing and healthcare, because of that, end up homeless or bankrupt. Jeff Bezos is worth over $200 billion. If we had a wealth tax of just 5 percent, Jeff Bezos contribution alone would cover our budget shortfall and we wouldn’t have to punish the working class across this state for the economic woes created by COVID-19. Income inequality is wiping out the middle class and hurting workers. Washington has the most regressive tax system in the U.S. with the lowest 20 percent of earners pay 17.8 percent of their earnings in local and state taxes while the wealthiest 1% pay only 3 percent. We need a wealth tax in this state, while at the same time reducing the sales and property tax, so that our working families and small businesses can thrive.

Another challenge we face in this district is access to broadband. The Internet should be viewed as a necessary public utility. Parents in our district are driving miles to sit in school parking lots during this pandemic to use the wifi so their kids can see their teacher and fellow students for online classes. The Internet should be available to all families, just like electricity and water.

Recently our district was blanketed with thick smoke. While arson and gender reveal parties may start fires, it is dry conditions combined with hotter summers that make the fires spread so much more easily. When elected, I will take the environmental impacts of climate change seriously and work to pass clean energy bills.

Meanwhile, my opponent is taking money from corporations which would oppose all of the important reforms mentioned in this video. Corporations like Phillips 66, Premera Blue Cross, Broadband Communications Association PAC, Monsanto, Regence, Amazon, and so many more. I have pledged to not take money from the very corporations that continue to put profit ahead of our lives and planet. I hope to earn your vote and represent you, not the corporations, in Olympia. Please visit my website davenportforwashington.com for more information about me, to volunteer or to donate.

Jacquelin Maycumber

Jacqueline Maycumber

Tell us about yourself:

I, Jacquelin Maycumber, am married to Martin Maycumber, we have three wonderful children and live on the Maycumber ranch. I earned my Bachelors degree in Biochemistry, served as a Law Enforcement Sheriff Deputy in Colorado. When returning home, I served as the Vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce and a local elected school board member.

Your qualifications & experience:

I am currently the elected Washington State House Republican Floor Leader. I have written and passed many important pieces of legislation that has been signed into law. For example:

  • Reducing Rx costs, insulin $100/month.
  • Rural Broadband funding.
  • Critical Incident Stress Management Support for Police and Fire.
  • Washington Veteran Service Officer program first in the state.
  • Increased Law Enforcement Training classes statewide and Spokane.
  • Fire protection and equipment to rural fire departments.

I have been honored to be named: Legislator of the year 2018 Council of Metropolitan Police and Sheriffs, 2019 WACOPS Legislator of the year, 2018 & 2019 Hunters Heritage, 2019 Rural Jobs Coalition National Legislator of the year, 2020 National Federation of Independent Business awarded “Guardian of Small Business.” Jada Bascom Foundation “Seeds of Hope Award 2019” for Be the Match legislation. Washington Farm Bureau, “Certificate of Commendation.”

Why do you want to be elected?

I am a proven fighter for decreased taxes for working families, economic development and affordable healthcare. My top priority is creating an environment that promotes a safe and healthy economy so we don’t continue to export our greatest commodity, our children. We must remove over burdensome taxes and restrictions so our families can flourish. In my short time in the legislature, I have written and passed important legislation and will continue to fight for the voice of our community. When you grow up here, you understand the value of hard work, family and community. I bring a warriors spirit and a servant’s heart to Olympia.

Most important issues?

The state budget is balanced on the backs of small businesses and the good people of the state. In 2018, the majority party increased spending 18 percent in one YEAR. I actively opposed the spending and continuously warned against not saving for a “rainy day.” That rainy day has come. The legislature and Governor need to value your hard earned tax dollars more, by reducing fraud and waste, while prioritizing need first. For example, Washington State is now proposing an $800 million dollar increase Unemployment Insurance costs. That is almost the exact amount lost in the Unemployment Nigerian fraud scheme. You and small businesses will shoulder this HUGE increase in fees. These are some examples of failures to value your tax dollars. Healthcare, education and public safety should be prioritized first, putting the needs of the people before special interest. Protecting the most vulnerable while reducing burdens on small businesses and employers and NOT raising taxes is possible with common sense decisions. Unfortunately, the Legislature is preparing many tax packages for the people of the State, including a Low carbon fuel standard(increasing gas estimated $.50 + a gallon), gas tax, a head tax, income tax and capital gains tax. We cannot tax our way out of this! We can only reduce the burdens on the businesses, employers and people and let the economy recover, without chasing businesses away like Boeing.

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