Twelve county commissioners have an opportunity to make a difference when they vote on the replacement for Matt Manweller for the 13th Legislative District Representative on Jan. 14. It was a divisive election process in November with a legitimate candidate running against a candidate vowing he would resign if elected, empowering the Republican Party of the district to select our Representative for us. The situation caused anger and frustration that the right to elect our leader was taken from the people and put in the hands of a few commissioners.
However, from a divisive situation, the possibility for unification and progress emerges in the candidacy of Alex Ybarra. This is a candidate that both Republicans and Democrats can get behind for the following reasons:
• Ybarra brings the perspective and expertise of a background in Science and Mechanical Engineering that are especially needed in this environment;
• Ybarra brings his knowledge and experience as a school board member in Quincy School District at a time when one of the primary tasks of the legislature is effective funding of public education;
• Ybarra, as a Hispanic leader, brings the understanding of a large minority community in Central Washington that enhances the decision-making process. He would be the first Hispanic elected to state government from this region.
I donít know Mr. Ybarra except by his reputation, which highly recommends him. I believe that he would have the best chance to be re-elected because of his broad representational ability and skills to bring people together for important issues of agreement. He has the ability to hear many voices and to communicate with various audiences to bring about a meeting of minds. His election would help to heal division and bring people together Ė a condition, without which, little progress can be expected. This is an opportunity for moving forward for the benefit of all constituents of the 13th in a particularly positive way.
Please contact your commissioners to let them know your preference. They will be casting your vote, and they need your input to represent you responsibly.