Candidates vie to represent 41st District in state House
July 20, 2010
By Tim Pfarr
Three candidates will vie for a 41st District House of Representatives seat in the coming primary election, including the incumbent, Judy Clibborn. Issaquah and other 41st District voters will narrow the field to two candidates in the Aug. 17 primary election.
Four-term Democratic incumbent Judy Clibborn said she hopes to keep making a difference, making progress on transportation, healthcare and education.
Clibborn, a University of Washington alumna and registered nurse who worked at Harborview Medical Center, got her start in politics in 1990, when she was elected to the Mercer Island City Council.
While on the council, she served as the city’s mayor from 1994-2000, as well as chairwoman of the Suburban Cities Association from 1995-2001. Clibborn left the City Council in 2001 and was elected to the House in 2002. She served as chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee for her last two terms.
If re-elected, Clibborn said she would focus on major transportation projects, most notably the Alaskan Way Viaduct and state Route 520 floating bridge projects, which have seen progress during her time as chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee.
The committee has an $8.5 billion budget for 2009-11.
“As we look into the future, we need to ask ourselves what we want our future transportation to be,” she said.
Clibborn also serves on the Healthcare & Wellness Committee, and during her time as a representative, she supported assisting seniors with the cost of prescriptions and providing health care coverage to all children in the state.
She was also a strong supporter of House Bill 2776, which called for a new method of budgeting in K-12 education. It passed by a 71-26 vote.
“I think what has happened in the past is we have not been able to fund what people would consider a full education,” she said.
Bellevue Republican Stephen Strader may be new to politics, but he is a veteran of the Western Washington business community, and he said he hopes to bring a fresh perspective to Olympia.
He possesses a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a master’s degree in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Strader also has an Master’s in Business Administration from the New York Institute of Technology’s Ellis College.
He is a self-employed software consultant, and he has worked with companies such as Beckman-Coulter, Thomson Consumer Electronics, PeopleSoft and Microsoft.
He said the state is lacking fiscal responsibility, and he said he would bring that responsibility to the state by making decisions that help, not hurt, the economy. He added that the government provides the framework for business and the economy, but that framework is now detracting from both.
“We don’t have jobs. We don’t have economic prosperity,” Strader said. “Our quality of life is degraded by that.”
He added that it is important for voters to have options, and he cited that Clibborn ran unopposed in the 2008 election.
“I think it’s important to have a discussion for voters to figure out what they want for the state,” he said.
Furthermore, he said that while in office he would always act in accordance with what the people in the district want, adding that he feels newer members of the House of Representatives are more in touch with the wants and needs of the district.
“I think the advantage of somebody new is the energy and the excitement,” Strader said.
Orion S. Webster
Independent candidate Orion S. Webster, of Renton, knows what it means to serve. A Puyallup native, he enlisted in the Navy immediately after graduating from high school in 2000. He served for four years, and his ship brought the first group of Marines to Iraq.
He was stationed in San Diego, and after concluding his service with the Navy, he joined the California National Guard. He has since moved back to Washington, and he now works as a security supervisor with the security firm Andrews International.
While working with Andrews International, he got an associate degree from the University of Phoenix in criminal justice, and he is now working toward a bachelor’s degree in the same discipline.
He said he decided to run for office because he does not like seeing the national debt grow, nor does he like seeing the country become more socialist.
“It’s time to actually have real hope, not this make-believe stuff,” Webster said. “I’ve served twice before and I plan to serve again.”
He said if he were elected, he would place priority on freedom and liberties, as well as upholding the Constitution. He said he would always put the people in the district first and work to save money.
Furthermore, he added that he would give a large portion of his pay back to the district.
“If I’m going to be a legislator and serve the people, I need to live like the people,” he said.
He said he would always make himself available to the people of the district to discuss issues.
Tim Pfarr: 392-6434, ext. 239, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.