Election 2014: Candidate Q&A — State Rep. District 21, Pos. 2

Editor’s note: This is an installment in a series of questions and answers with candidates who appear on the Aug. 5 primary election ballot.

Ed Wegner

Prefers: Independent Party

The candidate did not respond to the questionnaire; all information is taken from the Snohomish County Local Voters’ Pamphlet.

Elected Experience: None. I am not connected with any political party or special interest group. I hope to bring my life experience as a concerned citizen, parent, business owner and Marine veteran to represent ALL the residents of District 21 with common sense and integrity.

Other Professional Experience: Twenty-five years in executive management in several major corporations, fifteen years of successful business ownership.

Education: Some college, many excellent management seminars, lotta hard knocks.

Community Service: Principal service has been in connection with medically fragile children.

Like most in Washington, I feel the need to insure the care of the unfortunate and most vulnerable in our society. We can only do that if our Legislature works cooperatively to insure a robust economy where small and medium sized businesses can flourish and create jobs. Giving the largest and most affluent company in the State $8.7 BILLION without ANY guarantees will not do it, and is a poor bargain. The rest of the States workers and businesses with have to make that loss up, or essential services will have to be cut. I want to be YOUR independent voice of reason in Olympia, and I would appreciate your support.

Ortiz Self

Lillian Ortiz‐Self

Prefers: Democratic Party

The candidate did not respond to the questionnaire; all information is taken from the Snohomish County Local Voters’ Pamphlet.

Elected Experience: Appointed State Representative January 2014.

Other Professional Experience: Public School Educator in Everett School District, Mental Health Counselor, Small Business Owner of a Private Mental Health Practice, Clinical Director of a Mental Health Center, Regional Coordinator for the Illinois Board of Education, Education Advisor for Department of Children and Family Services.

Education: Masters in Public Administration & Masters in Counseling from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Community Service: Chair of the Commission of Hispanic Affairs, Co-chair of the Legislators Educational Opportunity Gap statewide committee, member of Washington’s Achievement Accountability Education Workgroup and Discipline Task Force, EVCC President’s Advisory Council Member.

In her first term, Lillian fought to reduce class sizes and implement policies that help our children compete and succeed. Lillian supports investing in roads, transit, ferries and projects that create family wage jobs. She froze tuition hikes for hardworking families and invested in workforce training to meet a changing economy. A mother of three and longtime resident of Mukilteo, Lillian is working to ensure that the voices of children and families are heard in Olympia. She helped pass a budget protecting the most vulnerable: seniors, vets, children, and struggling families. Lillian Ortiz-Self is working hard for us!

Jeffery Scherrer

Jeff Scherrer


Prefers: Republican Party

I grew up in Seattle and moved to Edmonds in 2004. I chose to live in Edmonds because I have friends who live here and I enjoyed visiting them here. I especially enjoy the small town feeling of the people, the town of Edmonds and I like the closeness to the water.

As I have never worked for the government before and this is my first time running for public office, I don’t think of myself as a politician. But, I’ve been very aware of politics for a long time, shared many thoughts over the years and my friends think I’ve been grooming myself for a position in government.

Q: If elected, what is your top priority?
I hope to bring a pragmatic approach to the many issues we will face in the upcoming legislative session. It is important that our elected officials listen to the voters, like the 2/3rds required vote to raise taxes, which passed 4 times only to be overturned by the legislature. Education is the top issue. Before we tackle anything else, we must make sure that K-12 education in Washington State is adequately funded. Good schools are good for our community. They bring growth and businesses benefit.

Q: What motivated you to run for this position? What do you want to see change?
My motivation to run for this position came from being tired of the status quo. Those who have been in leadership for almost 40 years have not been doing a very good job. While our economy is improving in some areas, other sectors still lag behind and need support. Small business owners aren’t appreciated enough and therefore are hesitant to take risk and grow their businesses. I will work to reduce regulations and avoid additional taxes on self-employed and small businesses. I will work to make government more responsive to the people it serves. I’d like to see less dependence on government.

Q: Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?
I am the best candidate for this position because I am able to look at things from the perspective of someone outside of government. Mine is a citizen’s viewpoint, not a bureaucrat’s. We need to elect people that look at all sides and work together to create growth and support progress and sustainability for the region. I like to find solutions to problems, not create them.

Q: How can people contact you if they want more information?
My phone number is 425-778-7082, my email address is Jeff@Jeff4State.com and I’m on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Jeff4State.

Bob Lewis

Bob Lewis


Prefers: Green Party

I’m a husband, father and grandfather whose lived in the Puget Sound for 40+ years. I’m active in the State Green Party and a social justice blogger, as well as a new politician.

Q: If elected, what is your top priority?
My top priority will be balancing our State’s budget to ensure sustainability and innovation into the 21st century.

Our State gives out too much corporate welfare at the expense of everything else. In 2012, our State reported it gave out $20 billion in corporate subsidies and tax breaks. At a time when small and medium businesses are closing faster than they’re being created and when legitimate careers are an endangered species, corporate welfare should be the last priority.

Q: What motivated you to run for this position? What do you want to see change?
My motivation to run came after learning that incumbents in Olympia violated our State’s constitution for their refusal to fund education. I’m referring to the 2012 McCleary decision of our State Supreme Court.

Lawmakers were able to successfully pass Boeing’s $8.7 Billion welfare package in special session in 2013. Union workers were given next to no time to consider Boeing’s proposal to gut their retirement, yet Boeing had been courting lawmakers since 2011 behind closed doors.

However, in 2014 when lawmakers reported to the Supreme Court, they admitted they made inadequate progress and used partisan bickering as their excuse. This doesn’t pass the straight face test, when taken in the context of the 2013 corporate welfare package. It was the largest corporate giveaway in the history of the United States.

The sad part about the McCleary finding is that it’s not the exception. Lawmakers haven’t been appropriately funding transportation, mental health, social services and many other issues important to our State. Yet, they make excuses to provide corporate welfare.

Simply put, if our State doesn’t have the money to properly fund it’s responsibilities then it doesn’t have the money to give corporations billions of dollars in unneeded welfare.

Q: Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?
Democrats and Republicans have been bought and paid for by corporate interests and dark money through PACs for a long time. As a Green Party candidate, I don’t accept big business or dark money contributions. As long as Democrats and Republicans court and accept big business cash, big businesses will always come before the people both Democrats and Republicans were elected to represent.

I’m the only candidate in the district that’s listed on Wamend’s pledge to not accept corporate cash. Consequently, i’ll be putting my constituents’ needs before corporate and special interests.

Electing politicians who take corporate cash, then vote in favor of big corporations over people is like hiring gang members as our police force to protect our communities. It doesn’t work.

While other candidates flaunt the organizations and committees their a part of, neither can articulate any clear cut plan to address the economic challenges our district and State are currently facing.

Regarding the incumbent, if education was such a priority, why not publicly call for a special session to fund our children’s future? So far, it’s been silence. If a special session is good enough for Boeing’s corporate welfare, it’s good enough for our children’s future.

Just as important, when incumbents use partisan politics as an excuse for failing to fund our children’s futures, at a time when they quickly pass the largest corporate welfare package in United States history, it’s time to vote them out of office in favor of lawmakers willing to put people and families first.

I’m advocating for a hard cap on corporate welfare of $500 million in annual net profits. If a corporation earns this amount or more, they would be barred from receiving any corporate welfare. I’m also advocating for a Capital Gains Excise Tax. This is a tax on the rich that at 5% would generate $500 million a year to supplement the gains from the hard cap on corporate welfare. Only the rich would pay it.

Finally, in an age of record income inequality, I support a statewide $15 minimum wage. This will strengthen the economy, lower the cost of government, reduce welfare and law enforcement costs as well as increase local and State sales tax revenues from minimum wage earners by up to 60%.

Once our State starts generating additional revenues, we can fund transportation infrastructure, education, and other projects important to our communities.

Q: How can people contact you if they want more information?
People can learn more about my campaign at my online at www.lewis4leg21.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lewis4leg21

– Compiled by Caitlin Plummer

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