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Q&A with 7th District candidates

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | July 13, 2022 4:51 PM

With the redrawing of the state legislative boundaries following the 2020 U.S. Census, the sprawling 7th Legislative District — which covers the northeast corner of the state — has gotten even larger, and now includes the northern third of Grant County currently split between the 13th Legislative District and the 12th Legislative District. Vying to represent the district in its first seat are incumbent Jacqueline Maycumber, first elected in 2016, and challenger Lonny Ray Williams. Both candidates are Republicans.

Each candidate was asked about their background and the same four questions, with the answers presented below and lightly edited for clarity and equal length.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Maycumber: I am from the 7th District, married with three wonderful children, and live on our family ranch of over 100 years. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and served as a Law Enforcement Officer. I am an active volunteer in my local community, including a former elected school board member, chamber of commerce vice-president, volunteer softball coach for little league and high school. What drove me to run for office is my desire to make sure our children have the same opportunities we did, from education to economic freedom. My goal is to protect our communities from rising crime, our families from rising costs of food and fuel, and to put parents back in control of our children’s education.

Williams: I am a resident of Ferry County, parent of six children and two step children aged one to 30. I am the producer, editor and main author of The Pamphlet, a monthly publication about history, liberty and civic responsibility. I am a homesteader and educator in self sufficiency. After researching and writing about our nation's founding history, I was encouraged and inspired to run on the values that I championed.

We all watched as parents' rights have been trampled on, while our leadership has stayed silent. Now schools and health care providers refuse to speak to parents about certain aspects of their own children's lives. Because of our incompetent leadership. I will fight to enshrine your parental rights and ensure that education funding follows our students and not failing institutions. That's the type of representation that citizens expect and that's what they will get when they vote for me.

We are facing the greatest food crisis of our lifetime. While inflation impoverishes our community, and our leadership is sitting on their rear ends. It doesn't take a bill in Olympia to get people organized to save themselves from food and supply shortages. It takes true representation and real leadership.

What are your qualifications for the office?

Maycumber: I grew up in 7th District and have seen the influences of Olympia’s Tyranny grow in the last few decades and now affect every aspect of our lives. I ran for office in 2017, fighting against the Hirst decision, that shut down water use and building. Since then, I have been elected by my peers, the House Republicans, as the Floor Leader in 2019-2020 and 2021-2022. In addition, I have received numerous recognitions: National Federal of Independent Business “Guardian of Small Business Award” 2022, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs “Legislator of the Year” 2020, Washington State Council Police and Sheriffs “Legislator of the Year” 2019, and Hunters Heritage Council, Washington’s largest hunting-rights organization. Legislator of the Year, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Williams: I have dedicated large sections of my life to public service and have extensive business experience. Through that time, I acquired extensive experience working with the executive branch congressional and legislative offices in the US Army presidential Honor Guard at Fort Myer, Virginia, at the Military District of Washington Emergency Operations Centers at Fort McNair, Washington D.C.

On the federal level, I was the executive office manager for the Republican Presidential Appointed Regional Administrator for Region 10 In the USEPA, which covered Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska, executive office manager for the Superfund and Emergency Management Division, USEPA. I also served as a federal employee in the Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce.

In business, I have extensive experience in the service and transportation industries as well as a background in construction. Most of my positions were high-stress, results-oriented positions, and many involved national security and or emergency management in crisis situations. I served in the US Army infantry in an Air Assault Recon unit and have extensive agricultural experience from my upbringing and current endeavors raising livestock. I have four years advanced education in business and project management and on the job training as well.

If you are elected, what are your top three goals? How do you hope to best represent the diverse interests of what is a fairly sprawling legislative district?

Maycumber: My top priorities are making sure our families can afford to live in their homes, feed their families, and are safe from rising crime. I am a proven fighter for decreased taxes for working families, economic development and affordable healthcare. As a mother, I adamantly support parental rights and the best education and economic opportunities for our children. It’s time to reduce crime, taxes and government spending, while creating more living wage jobs.

While the 7th District is the largest district in the state, we all share common interests and goals. We must remove over-burdensome taxes and restrictions so our families can flourish. Our natural resources and agriculture economies must be protected. As a former law enforcement officer, I support our first responders and veterans. My family has lived in the district for over 100 years. When you grow up here, you understand the value of hard work, family and community. I bring a warrior’s spirit and a servant’s heart to Olympia.

Williams: My first priority is to enshrine the rights of parents to be the primary stakeholders in their children's upbringing from birth to legal adulthood. I will fight to reverse the encroachment on parents' rights by the health care education and government sectors and restore parental rights.

I will also fight to ensure that education dollars follow the student and not failing institutions, parents will have a choice on where their child's education dollars are spent. Whether that be in public, private charter, co-op or homeschool environments. The $18,000 that our state spends per student would be better off in the parents’ hands.

We are facing potential starvation and I intend to organize the people of our great agricultural community to work together to overcome labor, equipment and parts shortages while our legislators get to work to pass much-needed agricultural reform, to reduce laws and taxes that are destroying our agricultural viability.

I find that bringing all stakeholders to the table in an open and transparent forum to be the best solution. I will hold a town hall for each county, each month, to ensure that the people have access to their representative.

How do you hope to work with other legislators both from Eastern Washington and from the west side, as well as the governor’s office and state agencies?

Maycumber: As a former law enforcement officer, I have the skills to work with many different perspectives. In my short time in the legislature, I have written and worked across the aisle to pass important legislation and will continue to fight for the voice of our community. Below are just a few of the issues I was successful in getting passed into law:

In 2017-2018 - HB 2010 Homelessness in Wildfire Areas provided fire equipment for small agencies, broadband and radio towers across the 3 counties for first responders and internet access and built low-income and veteran housing in Okanogan County.

In 2019-2020 - HB 2662 $100/month insulin bill, also created a taskforce to review Rx drug costs. Insulin has increased by 500% in the past decade.

HB 2926 Critical Incident Stress Management for all first responders. Peer-to-peer support.

In 2021-2022 - HB 1000 Law Enforcement mental health fully funded in the Budget.

HB 1728 Insulin workgroup reauthorization.

HB 1015 Equitable access to credit -Providing small businesses capital.

Williams: I believe that the most important aspect of changing the atmosphere in government is to educate and activate the people in their civic responsibilities. A legislator is not as effective when they do not have the populace behind them to do their job as mechanics in government. The people must hold their government officials accountable and be ever watchful for any officials who have forgotten that they are the servants of the people.

As for the governor, I support the petitions to the legislature that are gaining phenomenal support. Those petitions, if they garnered the needed signatures and move to the legislature, could successfully limit the governor's powers and restore checks and balances in our system. I support the people in those endeavors and will work to revoke the governor's emergency powers and reduce his ability to deploy them in the future. I will also work with the governor to find him a suitable retirement home and encourage him to step down for the good of the people. I am certain we can find him one that serves his own apples.

Charles H. Featherstone may be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.

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