NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

Alex Ybarra well positioned to retain Matt Manweller’s old seat for the Republican Party

Only two can­di­dates filed to run in this year’s spe­cial elec­tion for State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Posi­tion #2 in Washington’s 13th, a rur­al leg­isla­tive dis­trict that spans most of Lin­coln, Grant and Kit­ti­tas coun­ties and includes cities like Ellens­burg and Mat­tawa. One is a Repub­li­can and one is a Demo­c­rat.

The 13th is cur­rent­ly rep­re­sent­ed exclu­sive­ly by Repub­li­cans, with State Sen­a­tor Judy War­nick and State Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Tom Dent and Alex Ybar­ra.

Ybar­ra is in the incum­bent in the seat that was vacat­ed by Matt Man­weller of Ellens­burg after sex­u­al assault alle­ga­tions resur­faced against him in 2018.

Chal­leng­ing Ybar­ra is Demo­c­rat Steve Ver­hey, who is con­tend­ing for the State House with a cam­paign focused on fix­ing Washington’s upside down tax struc­ture, wide­ly regard­ed as one of the most regres­sive in the coun­try.

Ver­hey cur­rent­ly serves as Chair­man for the Kit­ti­tas Coun­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, Chair of the Envi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Cau­cus of the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty and on the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee.

Ybar­ra has a long his­to­ry with the Grant Coun­ty Pub­lic Util­i­ties Depart­ment and has pre­vi­ous­ly served as pres­i­dent of the Quin­cy School Board. He has also served on the board of the Wash­ing­ton State School Direc­tors Asso­ci­a­tion.

Although he was a fresh­man in the minor­i­ty this past leg­isla­tive ses­sion, Ybar­ra did spon­sor a bill that was signed into law by Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee.

House Bill 1621 gives col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties more flex­i­bil­i­ty in admit­ting edu­ca­tion appli­cants by chang­ing basic skills assess­ment require­ments for accep­tance into teach prepara­to­ry pro­grams.

“We need to encour­age more peo­ple to choose this noble pro­fes­sion. Good teach­ers, just like stu­dents, should not be defined by a sin­gle test,” said Ybar­ra. “By remov­ing this bar­ri­er a broad­er range of can­di­dates can be admit­ted into these pro­grams.”

As of 9:15 PM, Ybar­ra led with 62% of the vote (14,403 votes), and Ver­hey had 26% (6,097 votes). Both Ybar­ra and Ver­hey were guar­an­teed to move on to the Novem­ber 5th gen­er­al elec­tion; in this round, the race was a beau­ty con­test.

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