2020 Candidate Questionnaires

==================

Doug McKinley, U.S. Congress 4th Congressional District

Current Occupation: Self employed attorney

  1. What motivates you to run for office, and what do you hope to accomplish if elected?

I am motivated by income inequality. I hope to increase the income, and the quality of life, for the average American.

  1. What experiences and qualifications do you bring to this race and, if elected, to the office?

I have 30 years experience in law and business, graduate degrees in law and business, and 10+ years experience teaching law and business to undergraduates at WSU.

  1. What are the main messages of your campaign?

If we raise wages, lower the cost of healthcare, education, and rent, and transition to non-carbon fuels, we can build a better America in the near term and in the long term.

  1. Do you support the platform of the Yakima County Democrats?

Yes

  1. Are you compliant with all disclosures necessary as a candidate per the Public Disclosure Commission?

Yes

  1. Have you ever been found in violation of a Public Disclosure Commission, Federal Election Commission, or any Ethics and Elections Commission regulation?

No

  1. Have you ever failed to pay any taxes or court ordered judgments?

No

  1. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

No

  1. Is there anything within your past that if promoted by the media or an opposing party would prove particularly embarrassing to you or the Democratic Party? Have you been involved in any past or present civil or criminal lawsuits that have not already been publicly disclosed?

No

 

AJ Cooper, State Representative 15th Legislative District Pos. 2

  1. What motivates you to run for office, and what do you hope to accomplish if elected?

I do not feel represented by current elected officials and those they hire or appoint.

  1. What experiences and qualifications do you bring to this race and, if elected, to the office?

I have been closely involved with the party since 2016 (Chair of the 15th LD, 15th LD committee person, vice chair of WA State Democratic Ag and Rural Caucus). I have also written some resolutions and served on the Platform committee this year.

  1. What are the main messages of your campaign?

Funding Education, breaking down racist systems, and environmental issues.

  1. Do you support the platform of the Yakima County Democrats?

Yes

  1. Are you compliant with all disclosures necessary as a candidate per the Public Disclosure Commission?

Yes

  1. Have you ever been found in violation of a Public Disclosure Commission, Federal Election Commission, or any Ethics and Elections Commission regulation?

No

  1. Have you ever failed to pay any taxes or court ordered judgments?

No

  1. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

No

  1. Is there anything within your past that if promoted by the media or an opposing party would prove particularly embarrassing to you or the Democratic Party? Have you been involved in any past or present civil or criminal lawsuits that have not already been publicly disclosed?

No

 

Tracy Rushing, State Representative 14th Legislative District Pos. 1

Current Occupation: ER Physician, Hood River Emergency Physicians

  1. What motivates you to run for office, and what do you hope to accomplish if elected?

In medicine, we are taught, “First, do no harm.” While our district has the highest coronavirus rates in the entire West Coast, Rep. Chris Corry is suing to open up prematurely and unsafely, gambling lives and damaging our ability to restore our economy. Litigation instead of leadership costs lives, hurts our economy, and puts us all at risk. Leaders have the potential to unite and the responsibility to try. As an ER physician and a mother, I’m running for Washington State House of Representatives because I’ve witnessed that local leaders have the ability to save or destroy lives, and I’m prepared to lead a path forward that addresses our community’s pre-existing issues that precipitated this crisis.

  1. What experiences and qualifications do you bring to this race and, if elected, to the office?

Through my roles as a mother, physician, and a farmer, I’ve been witness to the extreme disparities in health, education, and opportunity that affect my community. These have been magnified over the past few months. I’ve seen the effects of disregarding our local farmers, industrial workers, migrant workers, and Native American communities. I’ve seen my district make great progress with renewable energy yet fall short protecting our ecosystems. I think I have the perspective and compassion to represent diverse viewpoints across the district while advocating for legislation that protects our people and our environment. Our district needs leaders who recognize that our economy is dependent on the well-being of our people and our planet. I am invested in my community through my family, my farm, and my profession, and I think progress only happens via growth of understanding and better collaboration.

  1. What are the main messages of your campaign?

From the playroom to the planet, we’ve tried to teach our kids to leave the world a better place than we found it. And that’s the yardstick. It informs my care for the next patient, my respect for our planet, and my desire for a more fair, loving, and just society. More specifically:

1) Health of mind, body, and family:
Our district is diverse, large, and predominantly rural. Access to healthcare and behavioral health resources is affected by where one lives and how one earns a living. Children, working class families, and devalued groups such as our migrant workers and Native American communities are especially disenfranchised. Lack of healthcare coverage and inadequate ability to access providers has caused disparate outcomes of health & happiness, and it strains our current system such that our few EDs remain a catchall for both acute and chronic issues. This has been magnified by the coronavirus pandemic, with repercussions such as child abuse, domestic violence, and substance abuse. In a vast rural district, especially during a pandemic, access to universal healthcare is mandatory, and this can be facilitated by tools such as telemedicine. For telemedicine to function well, everyone in our district needs equal access to broadband or wifi, and this requires collaboration with county leadership and tech industries. I am prepared to propel this collaboration forward, such that the plan and the implementation are coordinated at the local level. I am prepared to create and advocate for legislation that expands healthcare in our district with the goal of universal coverage, advances equitable broadband access, and incorporates telemedicine as a tool for both physical and mental health.

2) Education & Opportunity:
Public education and vocational training remain devalued in our state and community. In our large, predominantly rural district, opportunities for education and training have historically fluctuated as industries have come and gone. Teachers not only teach. They foster health, support families, and serve as community leaders, and they are provided inconsistent resources. As automation will affect more jobs and professions, we also need dynamic vocational training that provides choice and prepares us for a changing economic landscape. A robust educational system allows us to choose how we engage with the world and how we sustain our families. These can be choices that foster both personal pride and community enrichment, but they falter without local and statewide funding. I plan to work with our school districts to optimize education within the current budget while concurrently developing legislation that enhances these resources. I plan to work with our local industries to expand their resources for vocational training and continuing education. I plan to focus on the school systems in more vulnerable communities with the goal of equal educational opportunities across our district.

3) Food Security, Agriculture, Environment:
Our district is home to agricultural bounty, yet families, communities, and schools struggle with food insecurity. A staggering 12% of adults and 20% of children do not have access to adequate nutrition. Even with access, heavily processed foods dominate. We are failing to optimize our own access to the resources in our backyard, the fresh foods and produce necessary for healthy body and mind. We are failing to support our farmers such that they are incentivized to retain a more local market and work with the families at their doorstep. We are failing to protect current farmland and the ecosystems it relies on. Resources to combat food insecurity are not hand-outs. They provide the bedrock for a flourishing agricultural economy, and for children and families to reach their full potential. I plan to work with farmers and community groups to assess their current limitations, grow the programs already available in our district, and advocate for statewide legislation that expands access to local produce and promotes food security throughout our district. I plan to focus on the long-term benefits environmental protections, knowing that our farmland will continue to prosper only when our planet does.

  1. Do you support the platform of the Yakima County Democrats?

Yes

  1. Are you compliant with all disclosures necessary as a candidate per the Public Disclosure Commission?

Yes

  1. Have you ever been found in violation of a Public Disclosure Commission, Federal Election Commission, or any Ethics and Elections Commission regulation?

No

  1. Have you ever failed to pay any taxes or court ordered judgments?

No

  1. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

No

  1. Is there anything within your past that if promoted by the media or an opposing party would prove particularly embarrassing to you or the Democratic Party? Have you been involved in any past or present civil or criminal lawsuits that have not already been publicly disclosed?

No

Devin Kuh, State Representative 14th Legislative District Pos. 2

Current Occupation: High School Math Teacher, The Bush School

  1. What motivates you to run for office, and what do you hope to accomplish if elected?

I was disappointed to see Southern Washingtonians without a progressive option to represent them in 2 out of 3 State Government races(Pos.2 and State Senate). I care deeply about the community in Southern Washington and hope to give an avenue to represent the voices of the community who are in the most need. I hope to be a strong voice in support of education that strives to re-imagine our education system as more culturally responsive, less segregated and more student centered. I also hope to ensure that healthcare is a right for all those living within Washington. Reading the Yakima County Democrats Platform, I was so happy to see Education and Immigration at the top of the platform. Especially the inclusion of “A fully funded, effective teacher-student ratio in the public education system that is culturally responsive beginning in early childhood.” and “Stronger migrant worker rights including unjust replacement by guest workers under the H2A program.” and the opposition to “State or local police involvement in the enforcement of federal immigration laws through racial profiling and the abuse of discretionary arrest powers.” Those align so closely with my beliefs and goals in offering a progressive voice to our community. I also hope to work actively to include as many decision makers and community members as possible in my campaign to ensure that the idiom of “nothing about us, without us” is lived up to for all communities within our district.

  1. What experiences and qualifications do you bring to this race and, if elected, to the office?

I am entering my seventh year teaching high school and have a double major undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Economics. I am also finishing up my final two credits for a Master’s Degree in Teaching Math and Science. Beyond my experience as an educator, I have worked extensively in outdoor education and this has given me invaluable experience in forming relationships, recognizing needs and working to build consensus and community. Additionally, it has given me an exceptional appreciation for our public lands, their role both as recreation, conservation, and economic spaces for our community. I also fully recognize that this land was stolen from Indigenous Communities and am committed to ensuring that our economic stability from these lands is passed on to the Yakama Nation in particular. I have always sought out leadership roles in all my jobs and schooling. I served on student government for four years in High School, culminating as the Student Body President for a 2000 person school, I ran the freshman orientation wilderness trips at my college, wrote curriculum and mentored teachers at the first school I taught at and served as the Kayak School Manager for Wet Planet Whitewater. In all these roles, my main concern was supporting those I was responsible and ensuring that they had what they needed to succeed.

  1. What are the main messages of your campaign?

The main messages of my campaign are education, and health care for all regardless of immigration status. We need to provide and create opportunity those living within our district and ensure that we are working to decrease the opportunity gaps created due to racism and other systemic failures of our country, state and region.

  1. Do you support the platform of the Yakima County Democrats?

Yes

  1. Are you compliant with all disclosures necessary as a candidate per the Public Disclosure Commission?

Yes

  1. Have you ever been found in violation of a Public Disclosure Commission, Federal Election Commission, or any Ethics and Elections Commission regulation?

No

  1. Have you ever failed to pay any taxes or court ordered judgments?

No

  1. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

No

  1. Is there anything within your past that if promoted by the media or an opposing party would prove particularly embarrassing to you or the Democratic Party? Have you been involved in any past or present civil or criminal lawsuits that have not already been publicly disclosed?

No

 

Denny Heck, Lieutenant Governor

Current Occupation: U.S. Congressman, House of Representatives

  1. What motivates you to run for office, and what do you hope to accomplish if elected?

There is only one reason to run for office at any level and that is to make a difference. I choose to make a difference in public service (when the voters are willing) because I have a passion for public service. For this office, my public service experience counts. I have served in the legislature at both the state level (where I was House Majority Leader) and the federal level in Congress. I have also served in the executive branch as Chief of Staff to Governor Gardner (who signed the first-ever executive order banning discrimination in state employment based on sexual orientation). I began my adult career as a professional staff member in the legislature. With Lt Governor, the first question always has to be: is this person ready to be governor if necessary? I am. Second, the Lt Governor is the president of the Senate, where he or she breaks ties and maintains parliamentary order. They must be committed to presiding in a fair and civil way – it is the only way the process works. Finally, the Lt Governor performs other duties as assigned (or self-assigned) and what a wonderful opportunity to make a difference. For example, the Lt Governor, by law, chairs the Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations. As a state, we are going to need significant economic development for some time to dig ourselves out of the COVID hole, and we need as many voices as possible at the table who have experience in how best to do that. Indeed, we have an opportunity here to rebuild our economy in a fairer way and a more sustainable way. This starts with the state’s budget. We cannot underestimate the budget hole that the COVID recession is presenting to the state government or the difficulty of the choices the state will face next year in closing that hole. I’ve been through too many recessions and I know the wrong way to respond is to think we can cut our way to prosperity. We must maintain services especially at a time like this. I will be a voice for that.

  1. What experiences and qualifications do you bring to this race and, if elected, to the office?

BA, The Evergreen State College. Attended graduate school at Portland State University. Current member US House of Representatives. Serve on the House Intelligence Committee and Financial Services Committee. Co-founder and CEO of TVW, statewide public affairs network where I hosted Inside Olympia, a weekly public affairs program and where I also was awarded an Emmy. Co-founder of Intrepid Learning Solutions, a Seattle-based company that grew from 2 to 300 employees. Chief of Staff to Governor Gardner. Former member and Majority Leader of State House of Representatives. Member of the Board of Trustees of Evergreen State College and Foundation Board. Member of Governor Gregoire’s Washington Learns Commission. Co-founder with spouse of Principals’ Emergency Checkbook Fund for low-income students. Member of Advisory Council to New Market Skill Center (a public career and technical high school). Former business agent for Public School Employees of Washington (union representing classified school employees).

  1. What are the main messages of your campaign?

I am running because I believe it is critical we have state leaders with the experience, competence and civility to guide our government on the path to a more prosperous future for all during these unprecedented times. As your next Lt. Governor, I will fight for progressive policies just as I have done all my life, in the state legislature as Majority Leader, and in Congress fighting to hold President Trump accountable.

  1. Do you support the platform of the Yakima County Democrats?

Yes

  1. Are you compliant with all disclosures necessary as a candidate per the Public Disclosure Commission?

Yes

  1. Have you ever been found in violation of a Public Disclosure Commission, Federal Election Commission, or any Ethics and Elections Commission regulation?

No

  1. Have you ever failed to pay any taxes or court ordered judgments?

No

  1. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

No

  1. Is there anything within your past that if promoted by the media or an opposing party would prove particularly embarrassing to you or the Democratic Party? Have you been involved in any past or present civil or criminal lawsuits that have not already been publicly disclosed?

No