Running against an incumbent is not easy. Endorsing a challenger is  risky. Many support the incumbent before even speaking with the challenger.

My opponent, Barbara Smith-Warner,  took the lead on environmental and educational issues that were important to me and the voters in House District 45. She held constituent coffees, and updated us all on evolving legislation. She did everything she needed to win this election.  She did it by being a good legislator.

With the election over some doubt that she will continue focusing on those issues, or even keeping up with -- critical -- constituent communication.

I don’t have that doubt.  

I think she will keep focused on the educational and environmental topics that are so important in our district.  I think she will keep communicating with the district, both the East side and the West.

I offer Barbara Smith-Warner all the help she wants.

I have a Ph.D. in economics and have worked in conservation policy for more than 20 years. I have a deep background in education policy, serving on both local school boards and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.  She and her staff can phone when they like. I will be there to answer questions and lend my expertise.

Winning an election does not always need to be the objective.  Sometimes, a campaign is about meeting key decision makers. Sometimes, a campaign is about moving the policy conversation.  Sometimes, a campaign is about convincing the incumbent to focus on the issues that you find important and sometimes, it is about the next election.

If your aim is to win an election, it is nearly impossible to win against an incumbent, unless you have a history in partisan politics.

I met with union groups that said they were interested in me, my ideas, and looked forward to supporting me for the future, even though they endorsed my opponent this election.

I submitted testimony, helped move my ideas into the party’s list of policy objectives and heard those same ideas, again and again, coming from the people I had already spoken to.

I will be spending the next two years focusing on my, and our, critical issues:

  • Getting Carbon Cap and Trade passed.  I have already given written testimony on this and will continue doing so in the 2019 legislative session.

  • Getting more equal class sizes in our K12 institutions.  This is now one of the legislative priorities for both the state and county Democratic parties.  

  • Separate salary schedules for PERS Tier 1, 2 and OPSRP.  This allows employees to switch from higher cost, TIER 1 and 2, retirement plans, and for more recent, post-2004 employees, who have no contribution to the PERS deficit, to enjoy more equal total compensation. This combines PERS saving and equity in one policy change.

While I may not be your legislator, I will be actively working to achieve these important policy goals, building stronger ties in the community, and I will be running in 2020.