Bowling announces bid for 35th District state Senate seat

BREMERTON — Local business woman and educator Irene Bowling announced Feb. 18 she will run for the 35th District State Senate seat as a Democrat.

The 35th District, which includes all of Mason and a portion of Kitsap, Grays Harbor and Thurston counties, is represented by Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlach).

“I am running for the State Senate to take my 34 years of experience as a business owner and educator, and get something done in Olympia,” said Bowling. “I have spent my life as an educator and small business owner with the single aim of developing potentials. Our area has unlimited potential. We just need the right type of leadership to tap into it and make it a reality.”

Bowling, 56, said that economic development would be a major focus if elected to the Senate.

“I know firsthand the struggles facing our businesses,” she said. “A slow economy is hard enough, but when you add to it taxes, red tape, paperwork and governmental indifference, it’s pretty darn tough to make it. We can do a better job of helping small businesses to grow and providing the infrastructure needed for businesses to expand in our area.”

Bowling, the director of a music school and concert pianist, has a long history of community involvement. She was a YWCA recipient of the Outstanding Woman of Achievement Award in 2012, a former Bremerton Symphony board member and a founding member and trustee of the West Sound Performing Arts Center.

She said improving educational opportunities in our area is a high priority, along with accountability.

“Every one of us is held accountable in life for what we do and don’t do. That should not be any different for politicians or state government,” said Bowling. “Elected officials owe it to the taxpayers to spend money wisely, be truthful about their intentions, and roll up their sleeves and get to work in a bipartisan fashion on the pressing issues facing our state.”

Bowling’s grandparents moved to Kitsap County in the 1930s. She entered college at age 16 and earned her doctoral degree from the University of Washington.

She has performed as a concert pianist in Europe, Mexico, and across the U.S. She has been the owner of Bowling Music Studios, Inc. for 34 years.

She and her husband, Bill Pontius, have three children.


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