By Isaac Bonnell
The race between long-time state Rep. Kelli Linville and Lynden businessman Vincent Buys for Position 2 in the 42nd District has echoes of classic political races in history. A young up-and-comer taking on a popular incumbent who is faced with a bad economy and rising voter dissatisfaction with government.
But the similarities end there. In fact, both candidates agree on many of the important issues of this election, such as balancing the state budget and the need to spur job growth in the private sector. Each candidate has his and her own ideas, though, about how to improve the situation.
If the previous two years are any indication, legislators are going to spend a lot of time balancing the budget in the next legislative session.
As the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Linville is no stranger to budgets and has a strong stance about what needs to happen during this next biennium.
“The overreaching goal is to really prioritize and reduce the size of state government in order to meet our new economic reality,” she said. “There are a lot of hard choices that need to be made and they need to be made by people with experience and who are looking after the public’s best interest.”
Linville is in favor of opening up some state businesses, such as printing and liquor sales, to privatization if it means cost savings or more revenue for the state.
Likewise, Buys is campaigning to reduce the role of state government to its essential services, but wants to ensure that the budget is balanced without adding any new taxes, such as the recently enacted taxes on bottled water and candy.
“One of the big reasons I wanted to run for state representative is because in my own business I keep seeing all the regulations that the state puts on businesses and the tax burden continues to go up,” he said. “Business can’t handle more taxes so we need to ratchet those back and encourage those businesses to grow.”
Buys is also in favor of reinstating the two-thirds majority required for the Legislature to raise taxes.
In terms of economic policies, both candidates said that small businesses will be the driver of the local economy and government should therefore set policies that encourage small businesses to grow. Deciding who gets to set those policies, however, is up to the voters.
Kelli Linville: Democratic Party candidate
Bio: Linville was born and raised in Whatcom County and has represented the 42nd District for 17 years. She is the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and she owns Fast Lane Coffee Company in Oregon.
Notable endorsements: Washington Realtors, National Rifle Association, Washington Conservation Voters
Vincent Buys: Republican Party candidate
Bio: Buys grew up on a dairy farm in Lynden and graduated from Bellingham Technical College as an electronics technician. After working for Intel and Horizon Air, he started his own construction company called Dutchman Construction.
Notable endorsements: Farm Bureau PAC, Human Life PAC, Northwest Motorcycle Association