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Candidates square off once more
In the final episode of the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerces Eggs and Issues candidate forums for the 2008 election year, four candidates will take center stage as they make one final plea before voters of the 35th Legislative District.
The forum is at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14 at the Cloverleaf Bar and Grill, located at 1240 Hollis St. in Bremerton.
Of the four, only one has any legislative experience in Olympia; the other three have hopes of landing their first terms in office.
State Rep. Kathy Haigh (D-Belfair) is seeking her fifth term in office as she faces Republican Marco Brown, who bested Bremerton City Councilman Brad Gehring in the Aug. 19 primary for the Position 1 seat.
Haigh has emphasized education beyond K-12 and earlier said, Its the most important investment we can make as a society.
As the incumbent, Haigh stressed her work in Olympia is to find ways to save taxpayer dollars, but stopped short of saying she wouldnt vote to raise taxes.
Brown has campaigned on a platform focused on slashing taxes and cutting social services to represent the common man in Olympia, if elected.
When youve got the government aligned with corporate America, youve got problems, Brown said at an August candidate forum. Its time to give it back to the people.
That platform allowed Brown to edge Gehring by a little more than 300 votes, but Haigh garnered 56 percent of the vote to give her a bit of a comfort zone heading into the Nov. 4 election.
In the contest for the 35th District Position 2 seat, Mason County businessman Fred Finn received the endorsement of former state Rep. William Ike Eickmeyer, who decided not to seek another term in office, but Eickmeyers longtime nemesis, Republican Randy Neatherlin, said after the Aug. 19 primary that he likes his chances in November.
Finn edged out Neatherlin by less than 1,300 votes on Aug. 19 as the race also featured Bremerton resident Daryl Daugs and former Mason County Commissioner Herb Baze, who split a third of the votes cast.
Finn said if elected he will focus on education, creating living wage jobs through public/private partnerships and the states current healthcare crisis.
700,000 people are uninsured and a quarter of our state is underinsured, he said at an earlier forum, adding more needs to be done to make healthcare in the state more affordable for everyone by reducing the onerous amount of existing regulations.
Neatherlin, who has been a longtime critic of the spending practices in Olympia, has run on a no bull platform.
I am the one person who will stand up in the House of Representatives and tell them, Stop. Enough is enough. Not another dime, Neatherlin said at an earlier candidate forum.