Walsh wins 19th District primary; Purcell, Rossetti battling for second place

Republicans have historically been at a disadvantage in the 19th District, but this year GOP challenger Jim Walsh took a surprise lead in Tuesday’s primary, winning 30 percent of vote.

Incumbent state Rep. J.D. Rossetti clung narrowly to second position with 24.6 percent of the vote, leading Teresa Purcell by a scant 200 votes. Thousands more ballots await to be counted across the 19th District, which covers all of Wahkiakum and Pacific counties and parts of Cowlitz, Lewis and Grays Harbor counties.

“I’m still shaking,” said Walsh, energized over his success. “It’s no sleep until November.”

Walsh, the Grays Harbor Republican Party chairman, said he got more votes than he expected, but said it shows voters are tired of the “business as usual” appointment process to bring state legislators into the district seat. He said he thinks some Democrats voted for him because Democrats have used the appointment process to help control the district.

Rossetti, a Longview Democrat, was appointed in October, continuing a decades-long trend in which 19th District Democrats are initially appointed to the Legislature instead of elected into office. Only two Republicans have served in 19th District House seats since 1935.

“I think they’re willing to give something new a try,” Walsh said of voters. “I think there’s a strong positive message about doing things a little bit differently, being a little more transparent.”

Still, Rossetti and Purcell divided the Democratic vote, and that reality could buoy them regardless of which of them moves on to the Nov. 8 General Election.

Rossetti said he didn’t think the appointment process was a disadvantage to his campaign. Rossetti was appointed in October to replace state Rep. Dean Takko, who was appointed to replace state Sen Brian Hatfield when Hatfield took a job in the governor’s office.

“At this time I’m definitely pleasantly optimistic and excited to see the rest of the results come in,” Rossetti said.

Purcell, a Longview Democrat, said she remains optimistic. She said she was proud of her success considering her disadvantage against a Democratic incumbent.

“We’re super excited because we have lots of votes left to be counted, particularly in Pacific and Cowlitz counties,” Purcell said, both of which she appears to lead.

In Cowlitz County Purcell received 28 percent of the counted votes, compared with Rossetti’s 23 percent. Walsh received 21 percent of the votes in Cowlitz County.

Val Tinney, the other Republican contender, received only 13 percent of the votes districtwide. Tim Sutinen, who registered a Democrat this year, received 9 percent.

Tinney said while she was disappointed, she is glad to see a Republican move forward in the race.

“I’m excited for Jim. I’m happy to see that he’s doing well,” Tinney said. “I fully support him. We all worked really hard, it was a great race. I think it’s great that the voters have so many choices.”

Walsh said his supporters are especially passionate about easing land use regulations under the state Shorelines Management Act. He also said his plan for a flat levy to fund basic education is more “aggressive” than Rossetti’s, though Rossetti said he has been lobbying for that since he was appointed on the Longview School Board in 2013.

Walsh said he may also have to actively seek additional contributions moving forward for the general election. He has only raised $22,200, and he has spent all but $4,000, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission.

Rossetti has raised $51,600 and spent a little more than $41,000. Purcell has raised $58,500 and spent $46,000.



Challenger for House in WA Leg District 19 Included in List of State Legislative Candidates Who Will Return Focus to Government


The Washington Patriot PAC (WPP) has endorsed Jim Walsh, Candidate for the Washington State House (LD19, Position 1).

The WPP has endorsed Washington state legislative candidates in 14 State Senate or House races that it considers critical to improving Olympia’s outcomes over the next few years. Walsh is joined on the list by solid conservative incumbents like Matt Shea, Jesse Young, David Taylor, Lynda Wilson and Mary Dye. As well as fellow challengers like Mary Ruth Edwards, Vicki Kraft, Mike Volz and Barry Knowles.

For the complete list, see the WPP’s web site here: http://washingtonpatriotspac.org/endorsements.html (click on the “Legislative Candidates” tab).

Reflecting its attitude on public policy, the WPP quotes Revolutionary War pamphleteer Thomas Paine on its endorsement page: “The duty of a true Patriot is to protect his country from its government.”


Accepting the WPP’s endorsement, Jim Walsh said:

“In Olympia, the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of large, intrusive state government. Our administrative agencies are out of control—running roughshod over this land and its citizens. I’m determined to help usher in a return to more limited, more effective government. We can provide those few, essential services that the State should provide without creating a New Leviathan of bureaucratic corruption and excess.

I’m proud to have the WPP’s support in this effort. And I’m especially proud to be included in a list of some of the best people I know in public office and running for public office. This group will help make Washington a better place to live and work!”

For more information on Jim Walsh and his campaign for the Washington State House, see his website (www.electjimwalsh.org) or his campaign Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Jim-Walsh-943288459098642/).






One of Olympia’s Leading Constitutional Conservatives Lends His Support to the House Candidate in WA Leg District 19


Jim Walsh, Candidate for the Washington State House (LD19, Position 1), has been endorsed by WA Rep. Matt Shea—one of the leading voices for Constitutional Conservatism in Washington state and the western U.S.

Rep. Shea offered primary endorsements in a list of races he considers “hotly contested” around the state of Washington. These included six statewide offices and 13 legislative races. For complete details, see Shea’s web site here: http://voteshea.com/matts-take-on-elections/

Accepting Shea’s endorsement, Jim Walsh said:

“I’ve known Matt Shea for a number of years now. He’s a true statesman. So, I’m honored that he’s supporting me and considers my race in LD19 to be one of Washington’s critical legislative elections this cycle. We can all learn from Matt’s example. He defends the U.S. and state constitutions, protects individual liberties and property rights, and tries to leave this place better than he found it. I hope that I’ll be standing next to him in State Capitol soon.”

Walsh describes Shea as one of his models for working effectively in Olympia, without compromising principals or integrity.

“The voters in LD19 need a stronger voice in Olympia for our issues. We need to stop taking orders from Seattle liberals,” Walsh says. “Matt Shea’s support makes me confident that I be that stronger voice for this district.”

For more information on Jim Walsh and his campaign for the Washington State House, see his website (www.electjimwalsh.org) or his campaign Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Jim-Walsh-943288459098642/).






Candidate for WA State House in LD19 Says 2016 Election Offers Opportunity to Focus on Importance of Gun Rights


The Gun Owners Action League of Washington (GOAL of WA) has endorsed Jim Walsh, Candidate for the Washington State House (LD19, Position 1).

GOAL of WA contributes to causes, issues and individual candidates supporting an individual’s right to bear arms, as protected under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution.

According to GOAL of WA’s letter:

Our endorsement list will be published in the Washington Arms Collectors’ magazine, GUN NEWS, as a recommendation to WAC members, and will reach of twenty thousand gun-owning households in the state.

Accepting the endorsement, Jim Walsh said:

I’m honored to receive GOAL of WA’s endorsement of my campaign—which is about bringing back common sense and self-governance to Washington public policy. The popular media has generated an incredible amount of misinformation, especially in the wake of the recent shootings in Orlando, FL, about gun ownership in this county. The right to bear arms isn’t just about sports or hunting. It’s about living as a self-governing citizen. And about preventing tyrants from seizing our republic.

Walsh points out that Washington’s state constitution is even more explicit on this point than the U.S. Constitution.

“Lots of candidates for elected office in this area talk about protecting gun rights. A few actually do it,” Walsh says. “I hope that GOAL of WA’s endorsement shows which one I am.”

For more information on Jim Walsh and his campaign for the Washington State House, see his website (www.electjimwalsh.org) or his campaign Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Jim-Walsh-943288459098642/).






County Party Encourages One of Its Own to Provide a Stronger Voice to Voters of WA Leg District 19


Jim Walsh, Candidate for the Washington State House (LD19, Position 1), has been endorsed by the Grays Harbor Republican Party (GHGOP).

The GHGOP endorsed Walsh as part of its endorsement of several candidates running for local and state legislative positions in coastal Washington. The GHGOP also made cash contributions to several of the campaigns it endorsed.

Following local tradition, Walsh (who currently serves as GHGOP Chair) was not part of the endorsement vote. GHGOP Treasurer Otis Leathers led the process—making the necessary motions and opening discussion among the Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs), who ultimately voted on the endorsements.

Accepting the local Party’s endorsement, Walsh said:

It’s always great to have the support of your “home team.” Our PCOs are the decision-makers in this Party. I’m humbled that they voted to back my campaign for the State House. As everyone who follows politics in this area knows, the GHGOP has taken major strides in getting Republicans and conservatives elected to public office over the last several cycles. This part of Washington has gone from “blue” to “purple.” And we plan to get more conservatives elected in 2016.

Other candidates endorsed by the GHGOP include: Wes Cormier, seeking re-election as Grays Harbor County Commissioner; Sue Kuehl Pederson, running for State Senate in Legislative District 19; Jimi O’Hagan, running for State House in LD19, Position 2; Danille Turissini, running for State Senate in LD24; and John Alger, running for State House in LD24.

“The voters in LD19 need a stronger voice in Olympia for our issues. We need to stop taking orders from Seattle liberals,” Walsh says. “The GHGOP’s support of a ‘favorite son’ makes me more confident that I be that stronger voice for this district.”

For more information on Jim Walsh and his campaign for the Washington State House, see his website (www.electjimwalsh.org) or his campaign Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Jim-Walsh-943288459098642/).




Jim Walsh Endorsed by ‘Human Life of Washington’


Candidate for WA State House in LD19 Says 2016 Election Offers Rare Opportunity for Major Legislative Reforms

Jim Walsh—who’s running for the Washington State House, Legislative District 19, Position 1—been endorsed by the Human Life of Washington Political Action Committee.

Human Life PAC is based in Bellevue, WA, and advocates for the sanctity of human life at all stages.

Accepting the endorsement, Walsh said:

“This endorsement means a lot to me because I like the way the Human Life PAC operates. Its members focus on influencing public policy in the best ways—using principle and reason to persuade lawmakers, looking for common ground with people who may not always agree with us and avoiding heated rhetoric or angry emotions. That is how we will make real, lasting change in our laws. And in our society.”

There are five candidates in the primary for LD19, Position 1, and Walsh believes this presents a rare opportunity for voters to change the direction of public policy in Olympia. Walsh is running as a Republican; and, if the Republicans pick up just two more seats in the State House, they will become the majority Party. Walsh has said: “That will give us the chance to make major reforms in the legislative process.”

Walsh noted that his two most prominent opponents…both Seattle-style liberals…have said they support abortion-on-demand, various forms of “physician-assisted” suicide and the use of public funds to pay for it all. Walsh disagrees with them—especially on the matter of using public funds for those activities. He went on to say:

“Many people focus on abortion when they hear the phrase ‘pro-life.’ But there’s more to it than that. I’m equally interested in end-of-life issues—how we treat the elderly and sick in our society. We need to be careful about adopting public policies that end up rationing health care resources or put bureaucrats in charge of end-of-life decisions. Those decisions should remain between patients and their doctors.”

For more information on Jim Walsh and his campaign for the Washington State House, see his website (www.electjimwalsh.org) or his campaign Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Jim-Walsh-943288459098642/).





Walsh files for 19th District seat

On Monday night, Aberdeen businessman Jim Walsh made his candidacy for state representative in the 19th Legislative District official.

Walsh, a Republican who is vice chairman of the state party, filed for the district’s position 1 just after 6 p.m., according to the Grays Harbor Auditor’s Office website. The post is currently held by J.D. Rossetti, D-Longview. Rossetti filed on Monday.

Walsh announced he would run for the position in October. Teresa Purcell, a Democrat from Longivew, has announced she will also run for the position. Republican Val Tinney of Castle Rock has also announced she will run.

In local races, there have been no surprises so far.

Incumbent Grays Harbor County Commissioner Frank Gordon, a Democrat, filed for re-election. He was at the Auditor’s Office when the doors opened at 8 on Monday. Randy Ross, an Aberdeen banker and former chairman of the Grater Grays Harbor Inc. economic development organization, also filed Monday morning. Ross states no party preference, according to the Auditor’s Office website.

Incumbent County Commissioner and Republican Wes Cormier, representing the eastern part of Grays Harbor, has also filed for re-election.

In the 19th Legislative District Jimi O’Hagan, a Grayland cranberry farmer, filed as a Republican to run for the Position 2 House seat held by Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen.

According to an article in Vanity Fair, O’Hagan is a cranberry farmer who was at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside Burns, Ore. during the standoff between armed activists and police. O’Hagan has been critical of the state’s judicial system and ran against Blake in 2014.

Incumbent Sen. Dean Takko, D-Longview, has filed for his seat in the 19th District.

In the 24th District, Sequim Democrat Rep. Kevin Van De Wege has filed for former Sen. Jim Hargrove’s seat. Hargrove is retiring from the Senate and Van De Wege had previously said he would fun for the seat.

Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, is once again running for his state representative position in the 24th District while Mike Chapman, a Democrat and Clallam County Commissioner, is running for state representative position 1. Tammy Ramsay, a Democrat from Hoquiam, announced she would run for the position in March but has yet to file.

Auditor Vern Spatz said Superior Court Judge Incumbents Dave Edwards and Mark McCauley filed at the Auditor’s Office at 8 a.m., while incumbent judge Stephen Brown filed for the position shortly after 10:30 Monday morning.

Incumbent PUD Commissioner Dave Timmons had filed with the Auditor’s Office before noon on Monday, according to Spatz. District Court Judge David Mistachkin told The Daily World he would file for reelection on Monday.

In Pacific County, incumbent County Commissioners Steve Rogers and Frank Wolfe, both Democrats, have filed. Michael Lignoski and Dick Anderson have filed for the open public utility commissioner position as of Monday afternoon. The seat is currently held by Ron Hatfield.

No one has yet to file for Mike Sullivan’s Pacific and Wahkiakum Superior Court Judge Seat.

Candidates will be able to file through Friday. Positions that draw more than two candidates will be subject to a primary election in August.

OPINION: Fix homelessness by spending more wisely

A society is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members. So, how do we help the homeless improve their circumstances?

Not by increasing the amount of taxes that we dedicate to public assistance — but by spending the money we currently budget more effectively. How do we do that?

First, we need to know exactly what we mean when we use the word “homeless.” It’s become an umbrella that covers several different groups of people, including those:

• suffering from acute mental illnesses (schizophrenia, severe forms of autism, etc.) that render them unable to care for themselves;

• struggling with chronic behaviors (alcohol and/or drug abuse, mostly) that impair their judgment and ability to function in society; and

• experiencing temporary financial hardships that leave them without the means to secure a place to live.

These groups have very different needs. Unfortunately, some policymakers believe that a one-size-fits-all government strategy can address all of them. It can’t.

Today, that strategy involves an alphabet soup of government programs — mostly run through Olympia. It’s very institutional, very bureaucratic. Lots of rules about how money’s moved around. But little focus on measurable outcomes.

Second, we need to direct our money more precisely to the groups and individuals that need help. This means shifting control from state bureaucracies to local agencies and non-profits. Local organizations know when a junkie is really trying to get clean, or when a young family needs a place to stay for a few nights and a couple hundred bucks to get their car running.

These local agencies need to have the autonomy to give the family a temporary place to stay and some pocket money. They need to be able to give the addict a place to stay, probably for a longer time, and the psychological support to recover. If they use tax money to do these things, local agencies need to be accountable. But we need to trust their judgment and discretion.

Third, we need to draw clear lines between people with acute mental illness and those with behavioral problems. The current fashion among bureaucrats is to blur those two groups together. State agencies lobby for “mental health services” funding to remedy many ills, not just acute conditions like schizophrenia but also drug addiction, domestic violence and even illiteracy. That mission is too broad. It practically invites inefficiency and abuse.

Mental illness and addiction both need to be addressed, but not in the same way. Not from the same pools of money. And probably not by the same agencies.

Fourth — and most important — the best way to help the vulnerable is to improve the local economy. We need to rebuild the industrial base that we’ve been frittering away for several decades. We can help people living on the margins by offering them the greater opportunities to be self-sufficient. And to affirm their personal dignity.

Rebuilding our industrial base doesn’t mean going back to exactly the same economy we had 50 years ago. It means recognizing today’s opportunities and seizing them. Good news: We have the basic building blocks to do that here, right now.

Begging for budgetary table scraps in Olympia isn’t a solution to homelessness. It only perpetuates the problem. Rebuilding our local economy will do more good for more people than any panhandling. Whether on the streets of Montesano or in the hallways of the State Capitol.

Jim Walsh is a candidate for the state house in the 19th legislative district.

Old boy network gets a challenge in SW Washington legislative district

Updated 3:34 pm, Monday, April 25, 2016

The state’s 19th Legislative District, covering all or parts of five Southwest Washington counties, has the shortest life expectancy of any district in the state, according to a recent ranking by the Office of Financial Management.
But the district’s legislators have been able to count on a long, untroubled political life, ending with a carefully arranged handoff.
The district has elected Democrats since the New Deal and has frequently watched veteran lawmakers leave at mid-term, with veteran aides named to succeed them, and voters left to ratify the in-house turnover.
Teresa Purcell is setting out to upset the apple cart.
The Longview-based consultant, who advises women’s and Hispanic and environmental non-profits, is challenging appointed Democratic State Rep. J.D. Rossetti.
Rossetti followed a customary path in a one-party district. State Sen. Brian Hatfield resigned to take a job in the Inslee administration. State Rep. Dean Takko moved up to the Senate.
More Information

Rossetti, who has worked for Hatfield and State Rep. Brian Blake, was tapped by county commissioners to fill Takko’s House seat. He serves on the Longview School Board and was once student body president at Lower Columbia College.
Democratic precinct officers preferred somebody else, but county commissioners fill vacant legislative seats and went with the experienced hand.
Purcell is from an old Longview family, but her work around the country has convinced her that Democrats are “not connecting with the new America,” and “not growing the electorate” with young people and growing minority populations.
Purcell is also a believer that Southwest Washington needs to appreciate its old resource economy but become part of a new health and technology economy. She is against the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminal, which would turn the site of an old Reynolds aluminum smelter into a huge coal-export port.
“I am opposed to the coal terminal because I believe it would ‘brand’ our community and discourage other businesses, people and industries from mloving here,” Purcell said in an interview.
The 19th District battle has broader implications. Democrats hold a 50-48 advantage in the state House of Representatives.
The Republicans have fielded a highly credible candidate in Jim Walsh, the libertarian-minded chair of the Grays Harbor County Republican Party. He seeks to be the first Republican elected in the 19th since 1947.
“We don’t spend money against our own people,” said Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-34, who chairs House Democrats’ campaign committee. He does, however, describe Purcell as “a compelling person” that “a lot of us have worked with.”
“I don’t think it’s a bad deal to have contested Democratic primaries if both candidates are doing their organizing,” said Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-46, who appeared Sunday with Fitzgibbon before the King County Young Democrats.
Purcell is the insurgent, but enters with backing from U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, ex-House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler and Bette and Karen Snyder, widow and daughter of the late Senate Majority Leader Sid Snyder.
All politics is local, and politics in the Southwest corner of Washington has suddenly become a lot less sleepy.

Legislature candidate says more voters are Republican than they realize

The Daily News – Tom Paulu [email protected]

Since 1947, only one Republican has been elected to the state House of Representatives in the 19th District – and he had an advantage because in the 1980s the district was split into sections that favored conservatives.

Even though that split is long gone, Jim Walsh of Aberdeen says he can reverse the Democratic string of victories.

Walsh, 51, is an early entrant into the race for the seat held by JD Rossetti of Longview, who was appointed last month. The next election for the House will take place in November next year.

Walsh said that the 19th District, which includes Kelso and Longview and extends to the coast, is actually more conservative than voting history indicates.

“I think voters are starting to figure out that they’re more conservative than their fathers and their grandfathers told them they were,” he said. “They may not think they’re Republicans — yet — but they think they’re conservatives.”

The recent trend of how 19th District voters cast their ballots on statewide initiatives, such as the legalization of gay marriage and gun laws, shows a conservative bent, he said.

“I think the ground has changed — the psychological ground,” Walsh said.

Walsh also discounts the conventional wisdom that the industrial roots of many 19th District workers favor the Democratic party. Though public sector union members – and especially teachers – favor Democrats, many unionized workers in the private sector are more conservative, Walsh said.

Walsh is chairman of the Grays Harbor County Republican Party and vice-chair of the state Republican Party. He is a graduate of Amherst College, a Massachusetts school that is one of the leading liberal arts colleges in the nation. He owns a company that specializes in technical publications and manuals.

Walsh belongs to the Republican Liberty Caucus and describes his philosophy as Libertarian.

In keeping with Libertarian values, Walsh said he’s not opposed to marijuana legalization, though he’d like to change the state’s system of taxing it so medical marijuana patients don’t have to pay as much tax are recreational users.

The price of other drugs are high, too, he said. “We need to do something about how we cost pharmaceuticals,” he said, acknowledging that state government has limited effect on this.

Walsh isn’t opposed to the recent 7 cents a gallon gas tax increase (an additional 4.9 cents will be added next year), though he said voters have complained that they think too much of the increased revenue is going to projects in the Seattle area.

He objects to that city’s clout in state politics. “King County gets what they want because we let them get what they want,” he said. One reason for that is that Seattle-area legislators work the political process better than do those in other areas of the state, he said.

Walsh said the state should get the private sector to pay for a higher percentage of the cost of infrastructure improvements such as the planned Oregon Way-Industrial Way improvements. (The Legislature last session agreed to contribute $85 million toward that project, but the full cost is expected to exceed $300 million.)

As for the environmental debate about the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export terminal, Walsh said, “I’m not an anti-green guy and I don’t want to get into an ad hominem fight (a character attack) with environmentalists,” but he said permitting is too strict.

Walsh called basing water quality standards on how much fish people consume “an artificial metric.” The state clean water act is “almost a blank check to write any kind of regulation,” he said.

Walsh said the state Supreme Court’s decision to hold the Legislature in contempt over school funding is “outrageous.” However, he agrees with the Supreme Court that the Legislature needs to make school funding a priority. After schools are funded, across-the-board funding cuts would be needed, he said.

Walsh said funding for health care could be cut if the definition of what constitutes mental health care is made narrower. “I would not gut mental health spending, but I think it may need to not be able grow as fast as it’s grown,” he said.

Walsh said he favors more local control of state public lands. However, some national forests like the Gifford Pinchot in Southwest Washington need to stay under federal control, he said.

Walsh expects plenty of competition in the race for Rossetti’s seat, from both Republicans and Democrats. “It’s entirely possible there could be six or seven or eight candidates in this race,” he said.