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Lantz hopes voters won’t be fooled

Pat Lantz isn’t afraid to dress for success when talking to voters.

“I was (at the Southworth ferry terminal) for the 6:05 and 6:40 runs this morning,” exclaimed Lantz, dressed in a heavy purple sweater and rain jacket. “You do learn a whole lot about how people manage.”

Lantz, running for re-election in the 26th District of the state House of Representatives, said Monday morning wasn’t the first time she reminded herself of the importance of — and the dependence some of her constituents have on — the ferry system, especially the Southworth run.

“I have been extremely vocal in my support of the Southworth run,” Lantz said.

Lantz may be petite in stature, but those who know her know she has energy to burn. Twenty years after graduating from Stanford University, Lantz graduated from law school and began a practice in land use and planning law and, later, immigration.

“(I graduated from law school in) 1980,” Lantz said. “The next week, Mount St. Helen’s blew.”

Although Lantz said she works hard for transportation and education, her views on medical liability reform often land her in the spotlight.

“Of course we want to prevent frivolous lawsuits,” Lantz said. “(My opponent is) giving a very simple answer to a very complex problem. As you look at this issue, you can understand that our legal justice system depends on people being able to access it appropriately.”

Lantz’ platform addressing malpractice caps has four basic points: reform medical malpractice insurance, reform civil justice, assure patient safety and help critical specialists immediately.

She urges voters to not be fooled by quick fixes, citing the health care crisis in Washington state extends far beyond the lack of doctors.

“It doesn’t take long to figure out that one size cap doesn’t fit all,” Lantz said. “I think to represent the people you need to be part of the people.

People, Lantz said, are the reason her campaign is going so well and her focused issues are being carried to voters.

“I’m looking forward to 15 days,” Lantz said. “We’re almost there and I know that with my continued work my confidence is well-placed.”

Lantz, who has five grandchildren, said she still lives in the house she built with her husband 38 years ago near Gig Harbor.

“I’m a fourth-generation Washingtonian,” Lantz said.

“My (eight) years in the Legislature have been extremely satisfying personally,” said Lantz, who has served four terms in the House.

According to Lantz, her paternal grandfather was the first doctor to set up a practice in Washington state, the first the perform a successful Caesarean section procedure “this side of the Missouri (River)” and set up hospitals in both Kent and Auburn around the turn of the century.

Lantz said her maternal grandfather founded Group Health.

“He was a Scandinavian dairy farmer who believed in co-ops” Lantz laughed.

Lantz was raised in Kent, and her father is also a physician. After meeting her husband at Stanford and moving to Gig Harbor upon graduation in 1960, Lantz began her service in the public sphere.

“My husband and I have had the wonderful opportunity to work for the public at different times,” Lantz said.

Lantz cites her 10 years on Library Board as one of her favorite community service position.

“I look around and think ‘look at all the things (we’ve) done,” Lantz said. “We’ve got lots to do, but the glass is half full.”

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