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.

Judy Clibborn

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.

Judy Clibborn

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.

Stephen Strader

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.

Stephen Strader

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.

Orion Webster

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 Comment on this story at

About the 41st Legislative District
In Issaquah, the district encompasses Talus and other communities in the southwest part of the city. The district boundary splits the city from the neighboring 5th Legislative District at 12th Avenue Northwest.
Beyond city limits, the district includes a large swath of unincorporated King County, as well as all of Newcastle and Mercer Island. Parts of Bellevue and Renton also fall within the district.
On the Web
Learn more about the 41st Legislative District candidates online.
Judy Clibborn
Stephen Strader
Orion S. Webster
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2 Responses to “Candidates vie to represent 41st District in state House”

  1. Mark Greene on August 2nd, 2010 6:08 am

    I am a write-in candidate for state representative in the 41st District, Position 2. See my campaign website through link.

  2. Amonite on September 21st, 2010 1:02 am

    Given the current state of public schools, I believe your idea (Mr. Greene) of lowering the voting age to 16 would be somewhat disasterous. Especially considering that 50% of the country does not pay taxes as it is, and those under 18 usually pay little if anything, consider this: It is easy to vote with other people’s money, as it does not affect you personally except in what you ‘get’. When you have something to invest (namely, property) your choices become more selective in regards to how you spend.

    (Hence perhaps the adage that ‘A young republican is heartless, an old democrat is foolish’)

    Also, your platform seems to deal mainly with side issues. Not that election reform is not important (although personally I would start with getting rid of the top two primary system in favor of a drop-off ranked system or any other method that allows more accurate voter choice before I would worry about machines), but currently, solutions for the economy and the various stances on education (real reform vs tossing more cash at it, etc) are going to be more important to voters overall.

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