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McMahan running for Oke’s seat

Former 26th District Rep. Lois McMahan announced on Friday she intends to run for the state Senate seat left vacant by Sen. Bob Oke (R-Port Orchard), who retired at the end of the session March 10 to concentrate on his battle with cancer.

McMahan said her major reason for running again is that, “There is still much to be done to preserve for coming generations the freedoms and opportunities I have enjoyed.”

McMahan served two terms in the state House of Representatives, from 1996 to 1998 and, most recently, 2002 to 2004. She lost to current Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) in 2004.

“We’re not finished with the job I hoped to do,” McMahan said. “Even though we made a little progress toward making the state more business-friendly, we still have a long way to go. Businesses in the state of Washington have to deal with 28 state, federal and local agencies and 58 sets of regulations. Good family-wage jobs in our state depend upon our willingness to relieve businesses of some of the tax burden and regulatory burden (the hidden tax) they presently bear.”

While working for the passage of “The Child Protection Act of 2004” to require tougher penalties for criminals who sexually abuse children, McMahan said she learned just how much reform is needed in our criminal justice system.

“Even though another baby step was made during ing the 2006 session, we still have a long way to go to ensure justice for the victims of these crimes,” McMahan said. “We’re incarcerating people who pose no harm to the public while at the same time freeing criminals who pose very real harm to the public. I’m determined to be a part of putting more common sense into our justice system. I believe the people of my district agree with me.”

“Education will continue to be a priority with me,” McMahan continued. “We’re not getting enough state tax dollars to the classroom. We also need to reduce mandates on school districts to give them more flexibility to do their job —educate the kids. For the most part, local education officials know how to do this, but tell me the huge volume of regulation is getting in the way of their ability to do this job.”

Transportation is also prominent on her radar screen.

“I’m committed to working on transportation issues important to our district,” McMahan said. “I will continue to work to move up the construction date of the Burley-Olalla interchange further, getting passenger-only ferries for Southworth, and getting the reconfiguration of SR-302 and other badly-needed improvements placed on the radar in Olympia.”

Asked why she wants to continue her work in Olympia, McMahan said, “My husband and I have five children and four grandchildren. We’re concerned about their future — will it be safe? Will they have an opportunity to make a good life for themselves and the freedom to choose just what that ‘good life’ will be? This and my love for my country motivates me to work to make sure the next generations have the freedoms and opportunities I’ve had. I have learned that we can’t take these things for granted.”

The campaign will officially “kick off” with a birthday party for McMahan on April 27 at 7 p.m. at Miracle Ranch, 15999 SW Sidney Road, on the Pierce/Kitsap County line.

The featured guest speaker for the event will be radio talk host Mike Siegel.

All interested are invited to attend the kick-off event. For more information or to RSVP please call (253) 857-7408 to RSVP or write to P.O. Box 422, Gig Harbor, WA 98335 or vote@mcmahans.org, or visit www.mcmahans.org.

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