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

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

Scott Whelpley

Scott V. Whelpley

Prefers: Democratic Party

I served for 20 years in the Navy as an aviator, served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and retired as a Lieutenant Commander. Currently I work as a Senior Project Analyst for F-18 simulators. I have a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington. I have two children who are currently attending public school.

Q: If elected, what is your top priority?
Ensuring that our children obtain a world-class public education and access to affordable higher education is my top priority. Education is the key for improving our State’s economy and access into the middle class. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and I would not have achieved what I have in my life if it was not for the encouragement and dedication of my mother.

Q: What motivated you to run for this position? What do you want to see change?
In the Navy, we worked tirelessly for the common good. We could not pass the buck or avoid responsibility. In several of my missions, if I did not do my job, American lives would be lost. When I look at the current situation in Olympia, it appears that many legislators want to score political points rather than solve the problems of the State. We need to make the necessary investments in our education system, transportation infrastructure and the preservation of our environment to ensure that our children and grandchildren do not ask why we did not prepare them for their future.

Q: Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?
I am the only candidate with two children in public schools and I understand what the State needs to do to meet the requirements laid out by the State Supreme Court. I believe representation means listening and understanding the needs of all of my constituents, not just those who support me. I am supported by moderates and progressive Democrats, State Superintendent of Public Education Randy Dorn, teachers, unions and respected across party lines.

Q: How can people contact you if they want more information?

Justin McMahon

Justin McMahon

Prefers: Democratic Party

I grew up in the district near Lynndale Park in a union household where I attended Edmonds public schools and both of my parents have worked at Boeing. I know firsthand the struggles of working families and kids facing underfunded schools in our district. The recession caused devastating cuts to our social safety net – services my family relied on during tough times while I was growing up. My success later in life is thanks to the help we received. Since 2008, I have been directing field campaigns to elect democrats and to champion progressive causes such as ending the drug war and cleaning up our beautiful Puget Sound. I am an active community member who champions many causes. I have volunteered for many years with Food LifeLine, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Planned Parenthood, and Equal Rights Washington. I have served as President of the Irish Heritage Club of Seattle for the past two years and have been a Board Member for the past 6 years.

Q: If elected, what is your top priority?
To restore our social safety net to support low-income families and seniors as well as the 1900+ people who are homeless in our county every night. I will work to strengthen our mental healthcare system and increase affordable housing options in our district to make our streets safer for residents and police. Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary has solely endorsed my campaign because we both believe that prison is the wrong place for a non-violent, mentally ill or drug-addicted person. Mental healthcare costs half as much as incarceration and it’s a more compassionate option to help heal our communities.

Q: What motivated you to run for this position? What do you want to see change?
My family struggled with poverty when I was young. With overcrowded classrooms at school and a lack of support at home, I fell through the cracks. But, I earned my GED at age 18 from Shoreline Community College, waited tables in Lynnwood while earning my AA from Edmonds Community College, and I’ve been working on my Bachelor’s degree for the past two years at UW Bothell. It’s taken me longer than most because I’ve had to work while attending school but I’m not giving up. Education and perseverance saved me from a life of poverty. Working on political campaigns since 2008, I know that people like me are in the minority in the state legislature. I have the experience, drive, and courage to be a strong champion for working families. I want all kids to have access to excellent, fully funded schools with smaller class sizes and I will work tirelessly to make this a reality.

Q: Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?
I have more energy and more passion for progressive solutions than any of my opponents and I will not swing to the middle in Olympia. Just as people of Snohomish County have watched me dedicate myself and direct winning field campaigns for President Obama in 2008, for Congressman Rick Larsen in 2010, and I-502 New Approach Washington in 2011, I am an outspoken champion who is unafraid to take a stand on tough issues like ending the drug war. Our constitution mandates that our state legislature must fully fund public schools, and our State Supreme Court is demanding the legislature fulfill this paramount duty, as we should. We have a crisis on our hands and I am the best person to advocate and organize our legislature to a solution that puts kids first.

Q: How can people contact you if they want more information?
Call me directly at 425-750-1468 or email me at info@electjustin.org. To see a full list of endorsements visit www.electjustin.org.

Dick McManus

Dick McManus

 Prefers: Democratic Party


Elected experience: NONE

Professional experience: retired, US Army, Chief Warrant Officer-3 and I worked as a counterintelligence special agent and a counter terrorism analyst.   I served as a combat paramedic/LPN during the Vietnam War and after I came home from this unjust war, I worked part-time in Seattle hospitals.  I also worked as a 911 phone operator for the Seattle Police Department and as a King County cop.

Education:   BS in psychology

Community Service:  Volunteer with GreenEverett Partnership

Statement:  I’m 66, married to Irene McManus-Takahashi.  In order for the citizens to know who they really are, public officials and candidate must speak up on all issues, not just local and state issues.  Some national issues go to the very heart of who they are.

My online book: Some Unknown History of the U.S. – a work in progress

Q: If elected, what is your top priority?
School funding. I do not believe we have failing schools.  What we are failing to do is pay our teachers and professors.  They have taken a pay cut of some nine percent in the past six years due to inflation.  We live in an oligarchy when it takes a 2/3rds majority to raise taxes.   I support an income tax, but I will ALWAYS vote with the majority of the Democrats in the state legislature.   Republican are responsible for wasting $2 trillion on the unjust wars and illegal nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan and they are the party of psycho-talkers.

If we had lower federal income tax, citizens could afford to pay more in State and local taxes.   We are paying $233 billion annually for interest on our national debt, and our state’s biannual budget is $33 billion.

Q: What motivated you to run for this position? What do you want to see change?
I want to insure we are a nation where no one is above the law. I want the main stream media to stand up for a new Congressional investigation of the mass murder on 9/11, given that over 2,100 architects and engineers and some 600 PhD scientist are saying the World Trade Center buildings collapsed due to explosions, not airplanes and fires.

I want to be an honorable person, so I am standing up for the prosecution of Bush et al. for high crimes and war crimes. Think about it; cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, torture, ghost prisoners, secret jails, and kidnapping – all war crimes and crimes against peace. The Hague and the Geneva Conventions are US treaties and therefore US law. By not standing up for the arrest and prosecution of US citizens suspected for war crimes, that makes one a dishonorable person, it makes us a dishonorable nation.

We have the best government money can buy with some 47 dynastic kings who rule.

I want a plan “B” in case technology does not come to our rescue. As it stand now we are just hoping technology will come to our rescue.  There are no sustainable energy sources that will rescue us at our current population levels .  Global climate change will only be mitigated with extremely stringent emissions policies that reduce our consumption rates.

Americans have a right to want zero population growth and this cannot happen due to our national immigration policy.

Q: Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?
Because I will not lie to you and tell you I will create jobs.  We are headed for a very great economic depression.   The question regarding fixing our infrastructure required public officials to understand it takes a great deal of energy to make concrete.   We need to war game the future because I predict in a couple years we will see $10.00 a gallon gasoline.

We will not continue to see the same energy use per person or services provided to each person by increasing the use of sustainable energy methods and improved efficiency in the use of energy.

It is false to assume that when we no long to have economic growth, things will just slow down.

If is false to assume by reducing consumption and by constructing sustainable energy infrastructure and then everything will level out and avoid the collapse of industrial civilization.

Q: How can people contact you if they want more information?
Cell phone: 425-879-6489
My campaign website: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/DickMcManusforREP21stLD/info

Allen McPheeters

Prefers: Republican Party

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

Elected Experience: Precinct Committee Officer in both King and Snohomish Counties.

Other Professional Experience: Over twenty-two years of experience in software development for the consumer and business markets.

Education: Attended Purdue University and the University of Washington.

Community Service: Director – the Brio Condos Homeowners Association.

What have decades of one party rule in Olympia have given us? State senators comparing voters to children who must be told no for their own good. Legislators suing to overturn popular initiatives that limit their power. Nearly forty years of failing to properly fund schools. They just don’t listen to us.

I will listen. I’ll fight to put our children first by fully funding schools before we spend a dime on anything else. And I’ll fight for your pocketbook, by supporting a constitutional amendment for a two-thirds legislative majority before taxes can be increased.

You deserve better; so do our kids.

I’m asking for your vote so your voice is heard in Olympia.

Strom Peterson

Strom Peterson
(206) 799‐7363

Prefers: Democratic Party

My wife, Maria, and I settled in Edmonds in 2001, and founded three successful small businesses in Edmonds, and I am currently the owner of The Cheesemonger’s Table. We are active members of the community and live in the Seaview neighborhood of Edmonds with our dog, Lulu.

I am a two-term Edmonds City Council Member, proud to represent the citizens of Edmonds. I am experienced and proven in collaborating and working with other elected officials with differing points of view in order to create legislation and responsibly manage the budget. I have also served on a number of boards and committees representing the City, including the Regional Fire Authority, Lake Ballinger Watershed Forum, Edmonds Center for the Arts and Public Facilities District, Economic Development Committee, and Public Safety Committee.

As a community volunteer, I have been active in a number of organizations including the Downtown Edmonds Merchant Association, Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, Alderwood Terrace Rotary Club, Edmonds Center for the Arts, and the Edmonds Community College, including Boots to Books Campaign and Veterans’ Resource Center.

Q: If elected, what is your top priority?
There are so many issues we will face in next year’s legislatives session: fully funding education, passing a comprehensive transportation package, making a real commitment on protecting our environment and cleaning up Puget Sound, growing our economy to create good jobs. My top priority is to tackle these issues with integrity by working to get things done through effective debate, collaboration, and sound judgment.

Q: What motivated you to run for this position? What do you want to see change?
My family has always been active in politics and from a young age we were taught that a good way to give back to your community was through elected office. I began my career in public service as a City Council member in order to expand opportunities for citizens who want to live, work, and raise families in Edmonds. I am seeking the position for the State House 21st LD in order to be able to expand on the work I have started on the Council, including creating more jobs in new and growing industries, implementing policies that contribute to our community and environmental sustainability, and improving our services and consideration of the working poor and middle class.

Q: Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?
I am the only candidate seeking this position for the 21st LD that has worked as a legislator.  My nearly six years on the Edmonds City Council has given me the understanding on how to work with individuals and groups from all backgrounds and points of view in order to fulfill our duty as elected officials. Secondly, as the only candidate to own and operate a small business, I bring a much needed perspective to the legislature on the important role small businesses play in growing our economy and producing living wage jobs.

I believe that the organizations and elected officials who have endorsed me also speak to my experienced leadership. I am proud to have received the endorsement of Snohomish County Firefighters IAFF 1868, Senator Marko Liias, Representaive Mary Helen Roberts, and the mayors of Edmonds, Mukilteo, and Lynnwood. A complete list of endorsements includes:

Local Leaders:
State Senator Marko Liias
State Senator Christine Rolfes
State Representative Mary Helen Roberts
Snohomish County Council Member Stephanie Wright
Snohomish County Council Member Brian Sullivan
Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling
Mukilteo Mayor Jen Gregerson
Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith
Former Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson
Edmonds City Council Member Kristiana Johnson
Edmonds City Council Member Diane Buckshnis
Former Edmonds City Council Member Deanna Dawson
Former Edmonds City Council Member Dick VanHolebeke
Former Edmonds City Council Member Frank Yamamoto
Former Edmonds City Council Member Michael Plunkett

Local Organizations:
International Association of Firefighters 1828, 46, 3482
SEIU 775NW 1199NW
UAW Local 4121
Sheet Metal Workers Local 66
Edmonds Police Officers Association
21st District Democrats

Statewide Organizations:
American Federation of Teachers- Washington, AFL-CIO
Washington State Labor Council
Young Democrats of Washington
NARAL Pro Choice WA
Washington State Nurses Association
Inland Boatmen’s UnionWashington Housing Alliance Action Fund
Washington Federation of State Employees

Q: How can people contact you if they want more information?
Feel free to visit my website at www.votestrom.com or email me at votestrom@gmail.com.

– Compiled by Caitlin Plummer

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