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Gig Harbor activist earns Oke’s backing for his Senate seat

Gig Harbor Republican Jim Hines announced on Friday that he will run against Lois McMahan for the Republican nomination for the 26th District Senate seat left vacant by retiring Sen. Bob Oke (R-Port Orchard).

Hines, 45, is best known for his involvement in the fight against child sex predators. He has been endorsed by Oke, as well as former Rep. Tom Huff and Senators Pam Roach, Joyce Mulliken, and Mike Carrell.

“The Legislature needs someone who will advocate common sense, conservative ideas with passion and energy,” Hines said. “I have a proven record of being able to set the agenda, get the attention of the Legislature and get laws passed that help our community.”

Hines has been active in lobbying efforts to increase penalties for sex offenders. He first brought attention to this issue in the 2004 legislative session after reading the story of a neighbor girl in Gig Harbor who was sexually victimized.

This year, Hines led the effort to pass “Jessica’s Law,” requiring long mandatory sentences for sex offenders. He is also the author of I-936, “Jessica’s Law Plus.” The Legislature passed a law with some sentencing requirements this year, but it did not go far enough, according to Hines.

“The Legislature still has not heard what the people are saying,” Hines said. “Sex offenders should not be free to roam our streets looking for new victims.”

Hines also is the founder of Preserve Childhood Innocence, an interactive Web site and political committee.

Hines has extensive experience in advocating for children with special health care needs. Currently, he is treasurer of the Board of Directors for the National Organization Caring for Kids.

He is a former member of the board of directors for the Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation and is active in a 13-year annual fundraiser, “Bids For Kids,” which benefits the Therapy Services Department at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Center.

Hines has been a volunteer with “Friend to Friend,” a program that matches volunteers with seniors who reside in assisted living facilities.

He has also served as a volunteer youth basketball coach.

Hines is a sales manager for Masterfoods USA, where he has worked for 19 years. He has lived in Gig Harbor since 1996.

If he beats McMahan in the primary election, Hines would likely face Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) in the general election. Thus far, Kilmer is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

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