Get to know your candidates

The Douglas County Empire Press posed?two questions to candidates in contested races within the Empire Press circulation area that will be decided in the Nov.?6 general election.

Candidates for?U.S. Senator; U.S. Congress District 4, U.S. Representative; U.S. Congress District 8, U.S. Representative; 12th State Legislative District, Position 1; 12th State Legislative District, Position 2; Douglas County Commissioner District 3, Commissioner 3; Douglas County Sheriff; and Douglas County District Court Judge address issues we believe to be of importance to our readers.

Each candidate?s responses, with a 300-word limit, is in his or her own words. They appear in order of filing date for each race.

 

U.S. Senator?(six-year term)

 

Maria Cantwell?(Democrat)

 

Maria Cantwell?did not submit responses by deadline to be included in this coverage.

 

Susan Hutchison?(Republican)

Susan Hutchison (Provided photo)

What drives you to be U.S. Senator?

As a wife and mom, I?ve been a champion for military families, children?s health and public schools that put kids first. Unlike my opponent, I?m not a career politician. I?ve successfully fought on the side of taxpayers against a state income tax and other unfair taxes that Seattle?s radical left decides are good for us. The current culture in D.C. is corrupted by lobbyists and special interests. Maria Cantwell has been a politician for 25 years. She is no longer a servant to the public, but to the influences of the D.C. swamp. It?s time to exert term limits on Cantwell. But don?t take my word for it, take hers, when 18 years ago she went after the incumbent for this Senate seat saying: ?It?s time for a change. The issue is longevity in office.? I agree that Cantwell should not have a?fourth term.

What do you see as the most critical issues facing North Central Washington residents? How will you address these issues?

Issues are fundamental to our campaign. Check out my campaign website for ?18 reasons to vote for Susan Hutchison.? But as your Senator, my opinions are not enough. I will move words into actions, opinions into policies. Like you, I am weary of hearing politicians say ?we must?? and ?we should?? My promise to you is WE WILL get it done. Unlike Senator Cantwell, I would have voted for the historic tax cuts that have boosted our economy by giving our working men and women real tax relief. The thriving economy (currently 4?percent+ growth) has created more jobs, record low unemployment for African-Americans and Hispanics, and increased wages, which will lead to stronger tax revenues. Politicians who say they care about the poor and working class are disingenuous when they vote against economic growth. Lifting people out of economic despair can only be achieved when jobs are plentiful.

Meet the Candidate:?Susan Hutchison

City:?Seattle

Work history:?KIRO (CBS), TV news journalist, 20 years; Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, executive director, 10 years

Education:?University of Florida, bachelor of science degree;?USAF Air University, National Security Forum, certificate

Website:?Susan4Senate.com

 

 

U.S. Congress District 4, U.S. Representative?(two-year term)

 

Christine Brown?(Democrat)

Christine Brown (Provided photo)

What do you see as the primary issues facing Douglas County’s agricultural communities? How will you address these issues?

Stabilizing an agricultural labor force is what growers tell me is the biggest issue they face. There simply aren?t enough workers to get the seasonal work done. Many of the larger operations are using foreign workers under the H2A program. It?s costly and bureaucratic. To stabilize the domestic work force we must create a documented status for the thousands of people living and working here. These skilled workers are the reason we have a robust agricultural economy today. Secondly, we must simplify the foreign worker program. Senator Feinstein suggested the ?blue card? about?six years ago. It?s a work visa allowing a foreign worker to go back and forth across the border for three years working in agriculture. It requires growers to hire local workers first. Our representative must speak loudly for an immigration system that responds to our needs.

What other major issues do you believe are important for the 4th Congressional District?

Access to affordable health care is a critical problem facing Americans generally, but the problem is particularly severe for rural America. Frequently I talk with citizens who?ve seen their premiums and deductibles rise dramatically. People are concerned they?ll be priced out of insurance or a pre-existing condition will prevent affordable coverage. Plus we still have thousands without insurance in our region and they fear one accident or illness will lead to bankruptcy. People want health care solved, not sabotaged. It?s irresponsible to cast a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no replacement plan. That?s what Dan Newhouse did multiple times in Congress. I will work for health care for all. Thirty-two other high income democracies have figured it out, we can too.

I believe human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels, are causing today?s changing climate. We are painfully aware of the effects of a warming climate; drought, wildfires, floods. I believe we must act immediately and aggressively.

Meet the Candidate:?Christine Brown

City:?Kennewick

Work history:?TV reporter/anchor/manager, 30 years

Education:?Central Washington University, bachelor of arts degree

Website:?christinebrownforcongress.com

 

Dan Newhouse?(Republican)

Dan Newhouse (Provided photo)

What do you see as the primary issues facing Douglas County’s agricultural communities? How will you address these issues?

Farmers in Douglas County and Central Washington are facing several issues, but in my view, retaliatory tariffs are currently the greatest concern. I am working with the White House to ensure we are pursuing strong trade deals so that we can level the trade playing field and prevent our farmers from experiencing the economic uncertainty caused by a trade war. In addition, I will continue to be a strong advocate for ensuring our farmers have legal and reliable access to workers, improving our water infrastructure to ensure our region?s water needs are met, and taking away power from federal government bureaucrats whose regulatory and land-use decisions ignore?? and often fly in the face of?? the wants and needs of local communities and stakeholders.

What other major issues do you believe are important for the 4th Congressional District?

Balancing the budget, reining in federal spending, bringing down the national debt; ensuring the federal government meets its obligation to cleanup Hanford; ensuring water needs for our region are met; supporting our agricultural economy by working to create a stable and legal workforce; reducing federal regulations and bureaucracy, particularly on public land use decisions; supporting the Second Amendment and the Right To Life; securing our border and passing lasting immigration reform; passing patient-centered solutions for health care; bringing down the cost of health care and health insurance; protecting our clean, renewable hydropower while making sure dams and salmon can coexist; and ensuring we remain responsible stewards of our natural resources.

Meet the Candidate:?Dan Newhouse

City:?Sunnyside

Work history:?Central Washington?s Representative in Congress, 2015-present; Washington State Department of Agriculture Director, 2009-2013;?Washington State House of Representatives, 2003-2009; operates a 700-acre farm near Sunnyside?growing hops, tree fruit, grapes, corn and alfalfa

Education:?Washington State University,?bachelor of science degree in agricultural economics; Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Program graduate

Website:?dannewhouse.com

 

 

U.S. Congress District 8, U.S. Representative?(two-year term)

 

Dino Rossi?(GOP)

Dino Rossi (Provided photo)

What experience have you had representing constituents in a political district?

I am the only candidate in this race with experience representing constituents in government. While others talk and offer theories, I bring results and proof. In the state Senate, I wiped out a multi-billion dollar budget deficit without raising taxes; all while maintaining strong protections for seniors and those with developmental disabilities. When I get to Congress, I will remain a fiscal conservative with a social conscience.

I also have a proven record of working together with people from all walks of life to accomplish mutual goals. Working with Republicans and Democrats, I led efforts to require ignition locks for chronic drunk drivers and to keep child molesters in prison and away from children. I am proud of what we were able to accomplish by working together in Olympia and I plan to take the same approach to Congress.

What policies would you support to improve the economic and employment outlook for Douglas County residents?

I am proud to be endorsed by the majority of the mayors in Central Washington. I take those relationships seriously and listen to local leaders and voters. I know that land use decisions, water rights, and trade are essential to life in Central Washington and will stand up for you when the federal government oversteps its bounds and makes policies that could harm the region.

Additionally, I will fight to protect jobs and the middle class. My opponent reportedly wants to remove the dams on the lower Snake River, raising power bills by as much as 15?percent per family in Central Washington. She also wants to repeal the recent middle class tax cuts, raising taxes on families by an average of $3,357 a year. Her policies would be a disaster for Central Washington, and I will stand firm against the far-left Seattle policies she is trying to bring to the area.

Meet the Candidate:?Dino Rossi

City:?Sammamish

Work history:?State senator, 1996 to 2003, reappointed to the state Senate, 2012 and 2016; commercial real estate businessman

Education:?Bachelor of arts degree in business management

Website:?dinorossi.com

 

Kim Schrier?(Democrat)

Kim Schrier (Provided photo)

What experience have you had representing constituents in a political district?

I am not a career politician. I have spent my career working and solving problems with 8th District families?as a pediatrician, and that experience has given me a unique understanding of the issues facing families?in our district. Career politicians in D.C. have lost touch. They?re more concerned about getting re-elected?than supporting their constituents. I have pledged to not take any corporate PAC money, because I am?going to Congress to represent the people of the 8th District, not special interests.

What policies would you support to improve the economic and employment outlook for Douglas County residents?

I decided to run after House Republicans voted to cut health care for 32,000 people in our district and?remove pre-existing protections for 300,000 people in our district. My top priority is fixing health care. As a?patient with Type 1 diabetes, I understand what it means to worry about insurance and prescription drug?costs, and as a pediatrician, I have two decades of experience helping patients navigate our complicated?health care system. I know what?s broken, and I know how to fix it. I?ve proposed a comprehensive?health care plan that gets everyone access to care, lowers prescription drug costs, addresses the opioid?crisis, and improves rural health care access.

Trade is absolutely critical to our economy here in the 8th District, and particularly in Douglas County.?President Trump?s unpredictable, governing-by-tweeting trade policies hurt our district. We need to have?comprehensive trade agreements that support our workers and our businesses. We need to be sure that?we are exporting goods, not jobs, overseas. Trade deals must contain strong labor standards and?environmental protections, and have teeth to enforce these rules.

Finally, I will push for a fully-funded infrastructure plan that brings federal dollars to the 8th District to?make much-needed improvements to our roads, bridges, and schools. I will ensure that these new jobs?hire local workers.

Meet the Candidate:?Kim Schrier

City:?Sammamish

Work history:?Pediatrician, 16 years

Education:?Lucile Packard Children?s Hospital, Stanford University, pediatric residency, 2000;?University of California Davis School of Medicine, 1997;?University of California, Berkeley,?bachelor of arts degree in astrophysics, Phi Beta Kappa, 1991

Website:?drkimschrier.com

 

 

12th State Legislative District, Position 1?(two-year term)

 

Keith Goehner?(Republican)

Keith Goehner (Provided photo)

What experience and knowledge have qualified you to serve as a state representative?

I have served as a Chelan County commissioner for 16 years. During this time, interaction with our legislators has been an important part of the position. I have been the legislative representative for Chelan County to share the perspective of local government with the legislators. This position has also given me the opportunity to understand how to be more effective in representing our district. As a commissioner, one of my primary roles is oversight of the budget which is the framework for funding the essential services of the county. Also, my wife and I have been farming for over 40 years which has given me a good understanding of the challenges of being an employer and managing a business.

What are some particular issues you would try to address as a state representative?

From my background, I have seen the effects of the State imposing tasks and responsibilities on local government without providing the funding to do the work. This has resulted in local tax revenues being stretched to provide more service with less money. I will be a strong voice for local governments and take a message of responsibility and accountability for the State to adequately and sustainably fund any programs they have in the budget. The State has been inclined to sweep designated funds to balance their budget and I would resist using money from these funds. Transportation funding continues to be a challenge for the State and is an area of concern for me. Local rural governments are hard-pressed to generate enough funds to keep current infrastructure in good condition. As roads are critical for our transport of crops, we must ensure funding is available to keep our highway system in top condition. Regulatory reform in business, construction, health care and many other sectors is needed to allow for more efficient delivery of services.

Meet the Candidate:?Keith Goehner

City:?Dryden

Work history:?Sixth grade teacher; orchardist; Chelan County commissioner

Education:?Peshastin-Dryden High School; Wenatchee Valley College; Seattle Pacific?University

Website:?keithgoehner.com

 

Ann Diamond?(no party preference)

Ann Diamond (Provided photo)

What experience and knowledge have qualified you to serve as a state representative?

I am an independent family doctor who built and ran the first medical clinic?in Winthrop. There are currently no medical doctors in our?Legislature, and?health care policy is being made by lawmakers who have little experience in?rural health. Being a clinic owner in rural Washington is an adventure in?bringing people together, not only in daily visits, but also by creating a?healthier community?? organizing the farmers market, the free clinic for?children, and the local Association of Parents and Teachers.

I now serve on the Winthrop Planning Commission, which is actively working to?increase affordable housing options in our valley, and on the board of the?Washington Academy of Family Physicians.

What are some particular issues you would try to address as a state representative?

Health care: Affordability and access to quality health care are my key concerns.?The state can negotiate lower drug costs, and require that the billing for medical?services be transparent.

Education: Half of the state budget is now allocated to K-12 public education, and?the Legislature needs to ensure the funds are equitably distributed. Greater support?for apprenticeships and career connected learning will help local students connect?with local jobs. I support student loan reimbursements in exchange for work?commitments in underserved communities.

Economic Development: Small businesses/farms throughout Eastern Washington?have similar concerns. Greater regional collaboration can help leverage incentives?from the state. Improved cell coverage and high-speed internet access are rural?education and economic priorities.

Housing: Affordable housing is the number one concern I hear from young people.?Housing prices are rising three times faster than wages, making existing homes?unaffordable. Young adults cannot find housing in their own communities.

Solutions will depend on local opportunities, including more accessory dwellings,?long-term rental units, and thoughtful changes in zoning that allow for growth while?protecting our small towns and agriculture.

Meet the Candidate:?Ann Diamond

City:?Winthrop

Work history:?Columbia Valley Community Health,?family physician, 2017-present;?The Country Clinic,?medical director and owner, 2000-2016;?Friday Free Clinic, medical director, 2000-2016

Education:?Tacoma Family Medicine, residency, 1996; University of California San Francisco,?medical degree, 1993; Harvard University,?bachelor of arts degree,?1984

Website:?diamond4house.com

 

 

12th State Legislative District, Position 2?(two-year term)

 

Mike Steele?(Republican)

Mike Steele (Provided photo)

What do you want to do as a state representative to strengthen the 12th District economy and infrastructure?

I have spent my entire career devoted to economic development and job growth here in the 12th Legislative District. I will continue to push policies that encourage economic growth and opportunities. I want to continue to focus my work on career connected learning, career and technical education opportunities and STEAM policies. I will also continue to support policies that reduce the regulatory environment for small businesses.

What can be done to address the local housing crisis?

I have sponsored several pieces of legislation that create some new and innovative public/private partnerships to address workforce housing issues. I plan to continue pursuing the policies and reintroducing that legislation. I am also currently working on a plan to create a new dedicated fund inside the Capital Budget, a committee on which I serve, that would open up dollars for workforce housing in our communities. It would operate in a similar way to the Public Works Trust Fund.

Meet the Candidate:?Mike Steele

City:?Chelan

Work history:?Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, executive director, 2006-present;?White House Political Affairs Office, 2006

Education:?Pacific Lutheran University,?bachelor of arts degree in business administration and political science

Website:?votemikesteele.com

 

Valerie Sarratt?(Democrat)

Valerie Sarratt (Provided photo)

What do you want to do as a state representative to strengthen the 12th District economy and infrastructure?

I intend to focus on improving broadband services in both rural and urban areas of our district. Broadband internet has become an essential part of modern life, and all residents in our region need access to fast, reliable cellular and internet services for education, public safety, and local economies. If we want local citizens to seek innovative solutions to the challenges we face, we must provide direct access to the global economy as well as educational opportunities from their homes. I would argue, therefore, that we should consider broadband an essential utility, like electricity. It should be readily available to everyone, not just a luxury reserved for the affluent.

What can be done to address the local housing crisis?

City, county, and state government leaders must join together with interested nonprofits in a task force focused on expanding affordable housing options in our district. Policies and measures that have been proven to increase affordable housing options already exist: building up, not out; allowing inclusionary zoning, providing cost offsets to developers; etc. We need the political will to implement these solutions. Affordable housing should cost no more than 30?percent of an occupant?s income, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Yet local families struggle to pay for housing because wages have stagnated while home prices and rent continue to increase. Working to increase incomes would also be a part of the solution. I believe that having a safe, affordable home should be a right for all, not a privilege for the wealthy.

Meet the Candidate:?Valerie Sarratt

City:?Twisp

Work history:?Public education, 17 years

Education:?American University of Paris,?bachelor of arts degree in comparative literature;?University of Alaska, Fairbanks, post graduate studies

Website:?valerieforhouse.com

 

 

Douglas County Commissioner District 3, Commissioner 3?(four-year term)

 

Marc Straub?(Republican)

Marc Straub (Provided photo)

What do you see as the major challenges that Douglas County faces? What role do you think the commissioners need to play in addressing these challenges?

One of the most pressing challenges facing our county now and into the foreseeable future is the escalating housing affordability issue. This is critically important because of the overall depth of impact the problem poses. In order to ensure a healthy and vibrant economy, we need to be retaining existing businesses, while attracting new businesses and employers to Douglas County that not only diversify our local economy, but provide family-wage job opportunities that keep our young people and families here. Retaining and attracting new businesses is very challenging when our working families cannot access affordable housing. While there are many factors that contribute to the escalation in housing costs, affordable housing absolutely requires a healthy supply of housing stock at all levels. The county can best address housing affordability by ensuring that its zoning and development codes are not overly restrictive and are administered in a predictable, efficient and consistent manner.

What do you think is the best plan for stimulating the county?s economy? What could you do as a commissioner to help the county economy be as strong as it can be?

Agriculture is vitally important to Douglas County?s economic well-being. Nearly one-third of the county?s workforce is tied?? directly or indirectly?? to agricultural-related activities. Protecting and promoting?agriculture?is critical. Additionally, our county is rich with opportunity. We are blessed with inexpensive power, world-class fiber connectivity and an enviable quality of life. Healthy small businesses always serve as the foundation for healthy, vibrant communities. I believe in embracing well-planned economic development that includes a good diversification of industries providing great family-waged job opportunities, as well as economic impacts that benefit our county overall. I think that Douglas County is well-positioned to attract technology and manufacturing businesses that can and do provide good-paying jobs, but are currently going to other counties. County government can best protect?agriculture and stimulate economic growth by mitigating overly-burdensome regulations placed on our farmers, ranchers, growers and small businesses, and being consistent and efficient in administering the county?s permitting processes.

Meet the Candidate:?Marc Straub

City:?Beebe

Work history:??Building North Central Washington (BNCW), chief executive officer, 2002-present; Total Office Concepts chief operating officer, 1997-2002; owned and operated a restaurant, prior to 2002

Education:?Central Washington University, business finance and economics

Website:?marcstraub.com

 

Norman “Buck” Tupling?(Republican)

Norman Tupling (Provided photo)

What do you see as the major challenges that Douglas County faces? What role do you think the commissioners need to play in addressing these challenges?

One of the challenges is the relationship between the county and its people. It seems over the years there has been a disconnect between the county and the people in which it serves. I believe that the role of the commissioners is to make sure that there is a great relationship with the people and that it?s up to the commissioner of each district to make sure this happens. One of my goals if elected is to make it a point to form this relationship with the people of my district and with the people of Douglas County.

What do you think is the best plan for stimulating the county?s economy? What could you do as a commissioner to help the county economy be as strong as it can be?

Making sure that the county is using its resources in a way that supports the businesses we have and those that want to come to our county. I would like to work together with the other commissioners to promote and make sure that we are thinking to the future ? always planning a step ahead so that we are prepared financially and our infrastructure is ready and able to provide to the businesses we have and those to come.

Meet the Candidate:?Norman “Buck” Tupling

City:?Mansfield

Work history:?Central Washington Grain Growers (now HighLine Grain Growers); Douglas County PUD

Education:?Spokane Community College, Avista pre-apprentice school;?Columbia Basin Community College, lineman apprentice school

Facebook:?Norman Tupling for Douglas County Commissioner

 

 

Douglas County Sheriff?(four-year term)

 

Kevin W. Morris?(Republican)

Kevin Morris (Provided photo)

What do you see as the top issue facing the sheriff?

Among all of the issues we face, I would identify mental health as one of the top priorities we all face in public safety. Quite often mental health and drug abuse are confused as one in the same, however this is not the case. Although a great deal of mental health issues can be attributed to drug abuse, not all cases are. It is important we, law enforcement, recognize the difference and proceed accordingly. We have taken steps to improve our ability to recognize the difference between mental health and drug abuse. Along with continued training, we have partnered with the local mental health professionals and meet with them regularly to discuss those in our community who would be best served through the mental health system rather than the criminal justice system. We have also created a process in which our mental health partners will respond, when requested, to a scene and assist in determining the best course of action as it pertains to the individual.

How would you change or improve the sheriff’s office relations with other law enforcement agencies in the area? How would you improve relations with the public?

As sheriff, I am pleased with our relationships with our law enforcement and first responder partners, schools and communities. Although we have very strong relationships now, I know all of these relationships require continued care. We accomplish this through open communication and building trust. In addition to AlertSense, we have taken steps to continue and improve our ability to reach our community by establishing a sheriff?s office Facebook page and through Twitter. I understand and agree with the value of keeping our community informed. As your sheriff, I am committed to the continued pursuit of quality of life through public safety.

Meet the Candidate:?Kevin W. Morris

City:?Bridgeport

Work history:?Douglas County Sheriff?s Office, 2000-present; Brewster Police Department, 1995-2000

Education:?Bachelor?s degree in criminal justice; Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission first level, middle management and executive certified;?Command College

Website:?morris4sheriff.com

 

Leeon Leyde?(Republican)

Leeon Leyde (Provided photo)

What do you see as the top issue facing the sheriff?

Over the last?six years I have witnesses an increase in opioid use. This valley has an opioid problem and a sheriff?s office that has failed to recognize the need to have a member of the Douglas County Sheriff?s Office in the Columbia River Drug Task Force. All of the other law enforcement agencies in the valley have been participating with very little financial assistance from the federal or state government. The citizens of Douglas County deserve to have a sheriff?s office that supports the fight against drug crimes rather than expecting others to do their work.

How would you change or improve the sheriff’s office relations with other law enforcement agencies in the area? How would you improve relations with the public?

A new sheriff would start the process of building better relations with our law enforcement partners. For too long the leaders within the Douglas County Sheriff?s Office have failed to reach out to our local law enforcement leaders and say, ?lets work together, rather than alone.? I am a firm proponent of community policing. Community policing uses the concept of problem solving with our partners and stakeholders. I will make it my priority to reach out to all Douglas County citizens and learn what they need and how we can do a better job to assure we all have a safe place to live and raise our families.

Meet the Candidate:?Leeon Leyde

City:?East Wenatchee

Work history:?City of East Wenatchee Police Department, 2012-present; Washington State Patrol,?1987- 2012,?the last 12 years as a sergeant

Education:?Central Washington University, bachelor?of arts degree?in law and justice

Website:?leydeforsheriff.com

 

 

Douglas County District Court Judge?(four-year short and full term)

 

Eric C. Biggar?(nonpartisan)

Eric Biggar (Provided photo)

What do you see as the strengths of the current Douglas County District Court system? What are the weaknesses?

I believe the greatest strength of our current Douglas County District Court system lies in our friendly and efficient staff who provide exceptional customer service. We take pride in treating all court participants in a courteous and professional manner while conducting court business. Paperless technology has enabled the court to expedite inquires and submissions to the court, provide file access to attorneys, process infractions, sign documents, conduct video hearings and accept court payments online. Additionally, we are able to handle a large volume of cases while retaining the ability to schedule hearings quickly, and the flexibility to adjust as needed. Several staff members are bilingual, and our court interpreter services are easily accessible to non-English speaking community members assuring equal access to the justice system.

A point of improvement for district court is to enhance our probation services. Persons convicted of driving under the influence, domestic violence and crimes associated with mental illness present a greater risk to the community and therefore warrant more intensive supervision.

Are there any specific issues in district court that you think need more attention? Why?

The district court staff and I have identified three (3) areas of emphasis to improve our service to the community, and court participants. First, enhancing probation on ?at risk? cases (drug and alcohol, domestic violence, mental illness). Probation will take a more proactive role in enforcing compliance with treatment conditions and court ordered prohibitions, thereby holding offenders more accountable. This shift in probation will promote public safety with a stated goal of reducing repeat offenses. Second, we have initiated voluntary mediation in our small claims department. Mediation for our non-attorney litigants will help to resolve many cases in a fair and equitable manner without direct court intervention. Third, the court will be offering marriage ceremonies as a service to the community.

Meet the Candidate:?Eric C. Biggar

City:?Waterville

Work history:?Douglas County District Court, judge, May 2018-present;?Douglas-Chelan County District Court, judge pro tem, 2015-2018;?Douglas County Superior Court, court commissioner, 2015-2018;?Douglas County Prosecutor’s Office, deputy/chief criminal deputy, 1991-2014;?Eric C. Biggar Law Office, owner and sole proprietor, 1988-1991;?Heline and Associates, associate attorney, 1987-1988

Education:?Gonzaga Law School, Juris Doctorate, 1984-87;?Eastern Washington University, bachelor’s degree in business?management,?1980-82, 1983-84; Washington State University, 1982-83

Website:?judgebiggar.com

 

Robert Hunter?(nonpartisan)

Robert Hunter (Provided photo)

What do you see as the strengths of the current Douglas County District Court system? What are the weaknesses?

Technology greatly aids the court, allowing it to render decisions quickly and fairly. The Washington State court system uses a variety of online services to aid the bench which are available to our district court. The services give the judicial officer immediate access to one?s criminal history, warrants or pending restraining orders.

For sentencing, the judge can use software to calculate a proper fine, known as a legal financial obligation (LFO). Judges use the LFO calculator to input the crime charged and other details to determine what findings he or she must reach before imposing discretionary LFOs. The program links the judge to statutes that describe how a crime, like Attempted Computer Trespass, can be committed and whether the facts amount to a gross misdemeanor or not. Another screen lists what to consider for a finding of indigence.

Technology helps judges to swiftly handle these criminal matters.

See weaknesses below.

Are there any specific issues in district court that you think need more attention? Why?

District court is a court of limited jurisdiction. It is limited to misdemeanors and infractions. No felonies are tried. The aforementioned software helps the judge to avoid any missteps on these matters.

Civil matters are limited to cases not exceeding $100,000 in value, which mostly covers any Douglas County civil dispute. There is no software to apply to civil issues. It takes instead, as one of my endorsers said, ?a keen legal mind? to understand civil disputes. Even for small claims a judge must be ready to apply the correct legal theory to diverse fields like accidental falls, construction disputes or insurance claims; and apply the correct remedy to the specific instance at hand.

District court fails to cater to civil disputes. It needs a judge with a diverse background concerning many legal topics. It does not publish a civil calendar and only has two civil rules for public guidance.

Meet the Candidate:?Robert Hunter

City:?East Wenatchee

Work history:?The Hunter Law Firm,?PLLC, East Wenatchee, managing member, 2003-present; Carlson, McMahon & Sealby, PLLC, Wenatchee, associate, 1999-2003; Ogden Murphy Wallace, PLLC, Wenatchee,?associate?and?deputy prosecutor for East Wenatchee, 1998-1999; The Prudential Insurance Company Law Department Regional Corporate Law Office,?Plymouth, Minn.,?legal analyst, 1996-1998; Stanislaw, Ashbaugh, Riper, Peters & Beal, Seattle,?paralegal, 1990-1994; Bogle & Gates, Seattle,?paralegal,1989-1990; Lewis, D’Amato, Brisbois & Bisgaard, Los Angeles, Calif.,?paralegal,1984-1989

Education:?University of Minnesota Law School, Juris Doctorate, 1995-1998; University of California Los Angeles,?ABA-approved Attorney Assistant Training Program, in cooperation with the UCLA School of Law, 1984; Wayne State University, Detroit, bachelor of arts degree in English and philosophy, 1981

Website:?hunter4law.net