Democratic State Representative Fred Finn, who has represented Washington’s 35th LD since 2008, announced recently that he will not be running for reelection in 2012, leading two Democrats to announce their intention to seek his seat.
Finn’s district includes Mason County as well as parts of Grays Harbor, Kitsap, and Thurston counties. He served as a United States Army veteran, and is a Shelton and Olympia-area businessman, involved mostly with commercial banking.
Among those vying for the seat is Mason County Commissioner Linda Ring-Erickson, and Port of Olympia Commissioner Jeff Davis. Both Davis and Ring-Erickson are Democrats. No Republicans or independents have declared yet.
Ring-Erickson said in a statement last week that her top three issues will be jobs, jobs, and jobs, echoing a refrain Denny Heck used in his unsuccessful congressional bid. This is Ring-Erickson’s first bid for the Legislature.
Davis, unsurprisingly, is also concerned about Washingtonians’ economic security. He told the Bellingham Herald, “We have to get back to finding ways to bring jobs into the state, and I think we can do it on a local level successfully.”
It appears that lowering unemployment will be a hot topic in 2012, although none of the candidates has released any specific plans for getting our state economy back on track. Neither candidate has held a state-level office before, though both have experience at the local level. We’ll be watching to see what, if any, ideas Ring-Erickson and Davis put on the table as part of their campaigns.