Shaun Cross (R) -- I'm Shaun Cross, and my rural heritage gives me a passion to serve the people of our district. That's why I want to be your Congressman. I was born and raised in Ritzville, and five generations of my family have called Eastern Washington home. I've been married to Kathy for 29 years, and raised four children here, helping me understand the challenges facing our families. Like most of you, I want my kids to find good paying jobs right here so this heritage continues. Like George Nethercutt, I haven't prepared for Congress by being a career politician. Instead, my 25 years of business and legal experience give me a unique perspective on the economic challenges facing Eastern Washington. My law practice focused entirely on helping businesses -- from farmers to sawmills to manufacturing companies -- which were suffering. This experience gave me a deep understanding of how government impacts our economy.
For example, I see that frivolous lawsuits are hurting our economy. Because of my legal training, I understand the changes which we need immediately to improve our legal system, and am a strong supporter of legal reform.
I have demonstrated successful leadership in the private and public sector. As a CEO over the past 6 years, I grew my business into the largest of its kind between Seattle and Minneapolis. I know what it's like to sign the front of a paycheck and manage a business for nearly 200 people.
Our nation faces tremendous challenges. It will take a strong conservative leader with business and leadership experience, to do the right thing on the challenges we face. I believe it's my responsibility to put my knowledge and experience to work serving you in Congress.
The historic time in which we find ourselves demands a quality of leadership that surpasses mere legislative experience. It requires someone with a proven track record in the real world. Someone who has life experience. Someone who has raised four kids, been married 29 years, and has keen business sense earned from fighting in the trenches. These were the qualifications of our founders, who were the cornerstone of our republic. These are the qualities I offer.
Passion. Leadership. Responsibility: Values I will take to Congress. I'm Shaun Cross and would appreciate your vote.
Cathy McMorris (R) -- Representative Cathy McMorris was raised on an orchard overlooking the Columbia River near the site of Fort Colville, an early European settlement. Her ancestors came to this region by wagon train and for five generations worked the land. Cathy continued that tradition picking fruit and selling it at the family's fruit stand.
In 1994, Representative McMorris was elected to the State House of Representatives. She served five terms, rising through the ranks until she was elected Minority Leader. Cathy was the youngest caucus leader since before WWII and the only woman to ever hold this top leadership position.
Cathy's peers were looking for a hard worker who could bring Republicans and Democrats together with the support of small businesses, health care professionals, the agriculture community and many, many others. They chose Cathy, and during her tenure she kept taxes down and helped streamline state government.
In Congress, Cathy McMorris will focus on job creation and building a strong economy, strengthening our families, and placing greater emphasis on personal responsibility and local control. Cathy McMorris will work to reduce the economic burden of lawsuits through reasonable tort reform. She will expand opportunities for education and training. Cathy will work to save our dams, which provide a vital transportation link to Pacific ports and ensure an affordable energy supply.
Cathy supports a strong military to enhance national security and will take action to ensure that our security agencies communicate effectively safeguarding against future terrorist attacks. Locally, she will work to protect Fairchild AFB and our veterans' hospitals in Spokane and Walla Walla.
Representative McMorris earned a B.A. in Pre-Law from Pensacola Christian College and an executive MBA from the University of Washington.
McMorris's campaign is endorsed by a large number of Republican Groups and Leaders. From Sen. Slade Gorton to the Washington Farm Bureau, local legislators, conservative organizations like Eagle Forum, the Susan B. Anthony list and the anti-tax group Club for Growth have all endorsed Cathy's campaign, because as Republican State House Leader, she had a successful record of balancing budgets, cutting wasteful spending and holding the line against high taxes. She's not a lawyer -- instead she has a business and farm background that make her uniquely qualified to represent eastern Washington in Congress.
Larry Sheahan (R) -- Serving the citizens of eastern Washington in the state legislature for the last 12 years has been an honor. In that time, the importance of hard work, responsibility, and family have become even clearer to me.
My wife Lura and I have been blessed with a wonderful family, and we couldn't be prouder to call Eastern Washington our home. We're committed to doing all we can to protect the values that our families hold dear.
I am proud of having been born and raised in rural Eastern Washington. I've gained valuable experience from years of fighting to preserve the rights of our farmers, protect our dams, and promote our agricultural community and local veterinary school.
Equally important to me, however, are our urban communities and the work I've done to create higher-paying jobs and improve economic conditions. As the only candidate for the Fifth Congressional District who has represented any part of Spokane Valley, I'm familiar with the potentials and problems inherent to our more populous areas.
The most important quality our elected officials can possess is foresight. We need leaders in Congress who can recognize threats to our families and resolve them before they develop.
Last year, as I considered the threats that might face our district, I was able to obtain state funding that allowed for the construction of a new elementary school at Fairchild Air Force Base. I fought to make sure that our military families could enjoy the same quality of education as the rest of our children. You can count on my continued dedication to improve the quality of life for each and every one of my constituents.
As your next congressman, I'll work hard every day to create higher- paying jobs, control government spending, protect the Snake River dams, and make safer neighborhoods.
With your support, I'll use my many years of legislative experience, along with my dedication and boundless energy, to stand up for our families.
Spokane County Commissioner, District 1
Tom Hargreaves (D) -- Spokane is my first real home, although I didn't arrive until the 1980s. Growing up, and during my Air Force career, I moved around frequently and "home" changed with the license plates. Then one sunny August day in 1988, while driving across Peone Prairie, I fell in love with Spokane.
Since then, I have been in business, championed economic development, helped entrepreneurs, co-founded a neighborhood group, organized arts events, and engaged in land use and watershed planning. I am currently a Spokane County Conservation District Supervisor and seven-year member of the County Planning Commission.
I am running for county commissioner because I care about our county. Our economy and environment are hurting. County government has poor relationships with our cities; the Sheriff's deputies are seriously overworked; and the mental health system is paying fines and putting mentally ill people on the street. Planning and permitting systems are being dismantled and environmental laws apparently are being ignored. The Comprehensive Plan is a hard-won business plan that controls taxes, and it is being destroyed. Finally, the budget process and financial tracking need serious attention.
We need balance, management skills, and extensive local experience on the county commission to address these issues, and I will provide all of that with a fresh, creative approach.
We need family-wage jobs and companies that provide them to vitalize our economy. I propose a cooperative partnership with county and city governments, business, labor, and our neighborhoods coming together to support a single economic development entity with stable long-term funding, a contract, and deliverables. This entity would integrate the many excellent, but separate, on-going current economic initiatives.
We must preserve the natural environment that is so essential to economic vitality and our family-friendly lifestyle. Spokane's natural beauty and recreational opportunities strongly attract people and businesses, so we'd be foolish to let them be degraded. Mostly, we need only enforce existing regulations, but we must do it reasonably and fairly. Furthermore, the county can lead regional efforts to conserve water, preserve our rivers and aquifers, and resolve the wastewater and storm water issues.
We must have a friendly, efficient, collaborative county government that fairly serves everyone. We can resolve many of the internal issues with good management practices. For the larger issues, however, we will have to be more business-like. First we must rebuild the budget from the ground up with priorities, cost/benefit analyses, and future planning. We must get development paying for the services required to support it. And we must improve the economy to improve revenues.
I dream of a community effort to vitalize our economy in harmony with the environment. I dream of a trusted county government that works for all citizens, plans in a business-like way, and spends wisely. And I dream that we tap the energy of our youth and the wisdom of our elders to help make it happen.
I have the education, extensive hands-on local experience, thoughtfulness, and maturity to make an exceptional county commissioner. With everyone working together, we can make a difference.
Barbara Lampert (D) -- Spokane County Commissioner responsibilities include county ordinances, annual budget, land use decisions, property valuation review and departmental operations. My experiences that qualify me for the job include RCW compliance, account maintenance, policy language research, document verification and Board of Directors memberships. My education includes a North Central High School diploma (1963), a University of Washington Bachelor's Degree in Economics (1968) and a Nursing Assistant certification (1992).
I choose to run for this elected position because County Commissioner is an important job. We need a good person in it. The issues most important to me are income, outgo and service to citizens. Allowing development in urban growth areas will increase property values and property taxes received. Removing a layer of middle or upper management sideways through the county organization chart will reduce expenses. Alternatives to incarceration require more responsibility and cost taxpayers less. More officers in the Sheriff's Department will improve public safety. We should use the current low-cost loan to design the county wastewater treatment plant to comply with all legal requirements. Then we can qualify for and obtain a low-cost loan to build the plant. If all county wastewater is treated at a top-of-the-line plant, and laws about illegal discharge and dumping are strictly enforced, aquifer quality and quality of life for county citizens will greatly improve. To proceed as a candidate to the general election, I must rise above my two primary opponents. As your next County Commissioner, I will represent you with gusto. Please put new blood on the Board of County Commissioners. If you live in District 1, choose a Democratic ballot and vote for Barbara Lampert in the primary. Thanks for considering my candidacy.
Linda Wolverton (D) -- This election, a majority of the Board of County Commissioners is not returning. With the time deadlines on the wastewater treatment plant and communication towers, it has never been more important for newly elected commissioners to make appropriate and informed financial decisions from day one.
As County Treasurer for the past 11 years and a licensed CPA, I am in the unique position of knowing the county and having the proven skills to tackle important issues, find innovative solutions, and manage an operation this size. I have shown I will listen to people from all walks of life and across the political spectrum. As an official who provides regional services, I understand the relationships between the varying governmental entities and their diverse issues.
Every year, commissioners spend over $300 million of your tax dollars. The most important support a commissioner gives the local economy, business community and people of Spokane is to minimize taxes while fairly and reasonably providing priority services. Efficient government supports economic development by leaving more money in the private economy where it belongs. I have proven I have the broad base of experience and knowledge to be frugal with your tax dollars regardless of the government entity to which you've paid it.
I am shocked and appalled when I hear other candidates advocate increasing your taxes when they have little knowledge of the county budget. Property taxes in Spokane County have doubled in the last dozen years. I will never vote to raise your taxes until better effort has been made to minimize expenditures. Technology will be the answer to finding efficiencies. As I did in the Treasurer's office, I will implement innovative solutions. U.S. Bank chose my office to be a test site for their new E-Check program because they knew me and trusted my ability to successfully implement new technology.
Some specific ideas include:
4 Following the state's example and issuing debt competitively, saving taxpayers up to a million dollars when the county borrows money.
4 Being proactive in dealing with the impact of Valley incorporation. We've helped bridge their startup. Now's the time to focus on our responsibilities and remove ourselves from associated liabilities.
4 Re-examining how we insure ourselves could save up to $2 million per year for medical insurance alone.
4 Instead of continuing the Spokane myth of endless water, the county needs to partner with landscapers and nurseries to re-educate the public and promote plants and landscaping that conserve valuable water.
My son and three granddaughters make Spokane their home and I want them to live in a safe and healthy region with a vibrant economy. In this race, I am the candidate with a stake in the future of our county. A clean and abundant water supply will be our greatest economic asset in the years to come when other western cities deplete their meager resources. I will be a good steward of our tax dollars, our health and safety and our economy. As commissioner, my balanced, financially sound decisions will stand the test of time.
Learn more about me, my vision and my accomplishments at www.lindawolverton.com
Spokane County Commissioner, District 2
Bill Burke (D) -- My wife Desiree and I have lived in the city of Spokane and now Spokane Valley since 1973. I have also lived in Cheney and Medical Lake.
We have operated our business, Burke Marketing, since 1981. I'm proud to say that I have organized many Spokane community public events. Over the past 25 years, I've raised millions of dollars for community services and personally presented street fairs, concerts, children's festivals, holiday activities, youth events, fun runs, and other family-oriented events, including Pig Out In The Park, now in its 25th year.
As County Commissioner, I will have an established plan, prioritizing smart government and economic development. Spokane County is competing with over 3,000 other U.S. counties and more than 30,000 other American cities and townships, all searching for community prosperity.
I have 25 years of experience working with hundreds of communities all across the nation, to plan and implement successful community development programs. I want to couple that experience with my belief that Spokane County contains the elements for a vibrant economy right now.
There are nearly 12,000 local businesses serving our region. What if each of these Spokane County businesses were able to hire just one more person? That's over 10,000 new jobs in Spokane County. I want to direct county resources toward helping these small businesses by supporting capital assistance in low-interest loans with help from the SBA and community banks coupled with the pursuit of state and federal grants.
At no cost to the taxpayer, one of my first efforts in office will be to create a self-funding Office of Financial Gain whose purpose will be to raise
$5 million in grants and local project assistance money each year for our community.
Our largest employers also need continued nurturing. Fairchild Air Force Base employs 5,000 of our citizens. Every government entity in this region must cooperate in a common effort to ensure that Fairchild Air Force Base remains a vital part of our national defense plan.
Our health care facilities serve visitors from a huge geographical region. The health care industry already provides employment for nearly one in 10 of Spokane County 's workforce. I support the efforts to establish a Medical University and Research Center in Spokane, with ties to Washington State University. The spinoff in laboratories and businesses that will come from this bold move is almost unimaginable. Those laboratories and businesses are all sources of employment -- good paying employment. This will also make Spokane County 's health care facilities attractive to even more visitors.
Each Spokane County town has unique charms with retail possibilities. As things stand, they are forced to work independently in their revitalization and marketing efforts. The County Commission can help Spokane County 's smaller communities combine their marketing efforts for greater effect and results. There are lots of big ideas for economic progress in Spokane County. Our County Sheriff suggests a Law Enforcement Academy to train and supply security professionals. This has phenomenal potential. Let's nurture these ideas. Let's set goals. By 2010, perhaps an annual Entrepreneur and Trade Fair, nationally promoted, that celebrates Spokane County 's quality of life, innovative culture and our growing prosperity. Please support my candidacy for Spokane County. Bill Burke Will Work for You!
Brian Sayrs (D) -- Spokane County is about to experience a significant change. It is experiencing budget issues, Spokane Valley incorporated, and two-thirds of its commissioners will be moving on. With this much change, and the fact that commissioners serve on many important committees, experience in dealing with public issues is necessary. Marketing platitudes are insufficient.
As a city council member in Liberty Lake, my job has been to improve upon the work Spokane County did. I have also lowered property taxes while improving public safety, maintaining roads, and preserving open space.
As a member of its board of directors, I improved the relationship between Spokane Transit and our neighborhoods, earning massive renewed public support. I am the only candidate with practical, regional experience, and experience with large public budgets.
Environment. We must protect our lakes, rivers, and aquifer to preserve our quality of life. I will close the loophole that allows people to build septic tanks over our aquifer. I will utilize innovative wastewater treatment techniques and advocate effluent land application for additional treatment and reducing water demands.
I am the only candidate who has a long-term commitment to the conservation futures program, which has preserved natural lands for environmental and recreational uses.
Land Use. Development interests are attempting to influence this election, just at the time when we need a leader to stand up and prevent the inappropriate conversion of undeveloped lands to urban uses (sprawl). We need vibrant mixed-use areas, such as the University District, which support locally owned businesses, residents of all ages, and an all-hours, culturally supportive downtown core. We cannot allow a developer lobbyist vote on our commission.
Taxes. Taxes should be used to provide needed services like access to health care, education, support for people with disabilities, and treating mental illness. Instead of using that money to subsidize development, I will institute income-sensitive impact fees, which will ensure that infrastructure such as roads and trails, parks and open spaces, and schools are available when needed. This will reduce the cost of government to you.
Transportation. My transportation experience is unsurpassed. I serve on the Spokane Transit board, Spokane Regional Transportation Council, and Light Rail Steering Committee, and as the liaison to the local trails committee. I am the only candidate experienced in making decisions regarding trails, buses, roads, and passenger and freight rail systems and the regional management of state and federal funds.
Jobs. With policies that encourage land use efficiency and a vibrant commercial environment, and a transportation system that provides people with opportunities to travel to their local store or regional mall with equal ease, we can encourage businesses to grow and absorb greater development without additional tax burden. This policy supports our local businesses, with connections to our neighborhoods, rather than national corporations.
Improving our quality of life will encourage efficient, educated, and highly skilled workers to remain here, generating a labor force that employers will gladly court. Find out more about my leadership and experience at www.BrianSayrs.com. I would be proud to earn your vote.
Matt Ewers (R) -- I was born and raised in the Spokane Valley 46 years ago. After receiving my BA in Engineering from WSU, I furthered my education with a Master's Degree in Finance. What makes me the best choice for Spokane County Commissioner?
I build community. To research what this position requires, I met with all three County Commissioners. I am fortunate to receive the support of Commissioner McCaslin who holds the seat for which I am running. I met with the business, health care, finance, manufacturing and building communities. From each of these industries I received endorsements: Julie Prafke (Founder/President, Humanix), Doug Kelley (Past Chair, Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce), Dr. Nathan Dikes (CEO, Sunshine Health Facilities), Peter Stanton (CEO, Washington Bank and Trust) and Tim Hunt (President, Huntwood Industries).
I possess over 20 years of business experience. My work experience is from more than one industry and includes two Fortune 500 companies and management of multi-million dollar budgets and projects. I negotiated with unions, government officials and inter-company departments.
I own a small, family business with my brothers. As a partner of IEDS, Inc, my family's business, I understand the needs of our county's small-business community and the specific opportunities and challenges we face. Our accomplishments upon my return to Spokane two years ago include the designation of Spokane as a Foreign Trade Zone and the initiation of a U.S. Customs Container Freight Station.
I play an active role in our community. I am a member of St. Mary's Parish. I sit on the International Trade Alliance, serve as an Executive Board Member for the Spokane Valley Community Center, and I belong to the Economic Development Council. In addition, I am a member of both the Regional and Valley Chambers of Commerce and volunteer on committees for each. I have served as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children.
I will represent all of Spokane County -- not special interests. The support for my campaign has been diverse and not from any one area of our community. If elected, I will listen fairly and objectively without being beholden to any one industry or business segment within our county.
Why do I want to serve as your County Commissioner? I see the possibilities for our county. I see where we are and where we want to be: living wage jobs, promotion of job creation and organic growth for our existing business, support and utilization of our transportation system, public safety to ensure our quality of life and the collaboration of the cities within our county to provide logical solutions to our current and future issues. These issues include wastewater treatment, storm water disposal, transportation, mental health issues, labor concerns, illegal drugs, crime, etc.
I would be honored to serve as your County Commissioner and I invite you to call or e-mail me with any questions you may have regarding my candidacy or my vision for Spokane County. I can be reached at Matt@EWERSforCountyCommissioner.com or via phone at 509.891.5350. I respectfully ask for your vote and thank you for your consideration.
Steve Peterson (R) -- I am running for County Commissioner because this office provides me the opportunity to enhance the area I chose to live in 30 years ago and affords me the pleasure of helping make our Spokane community and region one of the best!
My vision consists of safe streets, economic opportunity, good schools that provide both educational and after-school activities, a health system that is a community jewel, an infrastructure that keeps up with our growth and an area where taxpayers' dollars are given high regard. As the current Mayor of Liberty Lake, I have tried to accomplish this vision for our new city. I believe that this experience and the leadership presented offer a picture to what we can achieve in the future for Spokane County.
There are three major issues facing our county and region today:
4 Spokane County, with the successful incorporation of two new cities, needs to redefine its mission and develop enhanced intergovernmental relationships that accentuate its strengths while minimizing its weaknesses. If the county is to have significant budget and productivity improvement while keeping the tax base low and the region economically competitive, county employees must be empowered to bring forward new ideas that increase productivity and reduce or maintain current costs.
4 Water and Sewer issues must be tackled by involving all entities within the region. I have called for creating the Spokane River Watershed Council. By taking a combined action around this issue in Spokane, we can replicate the success like that experienced on the Tualatin River in Oregon, thereby allowing us to improve river quality and maintain growth at reasonable costs.
4 Economic Development through job growth and entrepreneurial opportunity must be a priority as we continue to try and nurture our communities forward with good, living-wage jobs. Areas of focus should include:
4 Building on the University District for Higher Education will bring economic vitality as well as maintain a highly educated work force (i.e., the city of Austin, Texas, is an example.)
4 Developing clusters around health care, high-tech manufacturing, and marketing entrepreneurial support that encourages working together, understanding or interconnected opportunities and looking for opportunities in new markets. (Vivato and WIFI are perfect examples of building on entrepreneurial opportunity, finding new markets in government and public, working with other manufacturers in the area to bring the product to market and utilizing our engineering and research employment resources.)
4 Creating mentorship programs within our community to get our younger generation excited about a new career, giving them initial experience, providing them insight into what opportunities we have as a regional employment base and giving them hope for more than just a minimum-wage job.
Again, as Mayor of Liberty Lake, I have delivered safer streets, a healthy, beautiful and well-educated community that provides good paying jobs and entrepreneurial opportunity while lowering property taxes!
I ask for your vote to provide this leadership and experience for our region!
Steve @ PetersonforSpokane.com
Mark Richard (R) -- I chose to run for the office of Spokane County Commissioner this year primarily because I saw in our future more of the same adversarial behaviors -- something we can no longer accept. We have great challenges facing us in the areas of public safety, jobs and adequate infrastructure. We must have a leader, a collaborator and a listener in this office who can turn challenge to opportunity.
I believe it will take a new leadership style to achieve these things. I have spent a lifetime here, building coalitions across political lines to benefit the entire community. I have served on many boards and commissions, but none more important than the role of father and husband. I am a former Optimist, a current Kiwanian and a Rotarian. I am not doing this for a job or for power, but because I want so much for things to be more civil, more prosperous and more contemporary in the way we approach things.
We must redefine the delivery of county government to include increased accountability, empowering our employees to support business and to providing the best possible customer service to existing and potential employers of good paying jobs. If we do not, we will deplete our reserves within the next 18 months and this is not acceptable.
We must hone in on our top priorities and create incentives for our departments to conserve, just as the private sector does. I will work to implement the Priorities of Government model used successfully in other areas, charging the public with helping us define what services are necessary and which are no longer beneficial.
I have stood shoulder to shoulder with small business both as a self-employed person and a professional advocate; challenging the status quo, political favoritism and unreasonable restrictions that continue to drive businesses away or out of existence. If we are to implement change, we have to get rid of the politics and favoritism and deal everyone a fair process. While others talk about collaboration, my endorsements show that I have delivered, and that these groups and leaders stake their reputation on the belief that I will be best at rebuilding the civility in our community to turn current and future challenges into opportunity.
We have been endorsed by the Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies, Lieutenants and Captains; Police Chief Cal Walker; the Washington State Farm Bureau; the Spokane Home Builders Association; the Associated General Contractors; the Spokane Association of Realtors; the Spokane Police Guild; the Spokane Valley Fire Fighters; District 8 Firefighters Local; six of the seven Spokane Valley Council members, including Mayor DeVleming and Deputy Mayor Wilhite; Senator McCaslin; Representatives Crouse, Schindler, Ahern and Benson; and countless citizens and business leaders. We have such broad-based support across party lines because our campaign promise is no promise -- I have lived what I offer you, right here in Spokane County. On behalf of my supporters and myself, I ask for your vote. Call 879-0124 or see www.richardforcommissioner.com
The primary election is on Tuesday, Sept. 14. This year, you will have to pick a ballot to match your party.