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South Kitsap Fire Battalion Chief to run for Rep. Seaquist’s seat
South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief and Olalla resident Doug Richards announced today that he will challenge Rep. Larry Seaquist (D-Gig Harbor) for his Position 2 seat in the 26th District.
Richards, 41, is a 1987 South Kitsap High School graduate and has worked for SKFR for 15 years. He is running as a Republican and, if successful in his bid, will serve alongside fellow Republican and South Kitsap resident Rep. Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard).
Richards said the idea to run was “sort of tossed in my lap three months ago,” explaining that he helped with recent campaigns of both Angel and Dino Rossi, and is involved with the local chapter of the Republican party.
“We were discussing who should run against Sen. Derek Kilmer, and if I would consider a legislative seat,” he said, adding that he eventually decided to run against Seaquist. “It just kind of snowballed from there. It’s been neat to see the community rally around me.”
Richards was certified as a Republican candidate March 27 at the Kitsap County Republican Caucus.
If elected, Richards said he plans to keep his job as a battalion chief, and spoke with SKFR Chief Wayne Senter beforehand about the possibility.
“I think our organization would be proud to have someone in the Legislature,” Richards said, explaining that his current work schedule of 24 hours on, 48 hours off allows him some flexibility, and during the legislative session he would take leave.
In a press release, Richards also said he was also compelled to run by what he described as an “emergency” in Washington State.
“With a budget deficit and rising unemployment, Washington has an emergency. My community has trusted me to help when they dial 911, now its time to answer the alarm again,” Richards wrote in his press release. “After 22 years of service to my country and community, I want to take my integrity, leadership and service to Olympia.”
Richards has lived in South Kitsap since 1979, and now lives in Olalla with his wife and four children. After graduating high school, he joined the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Carl Vinson in the Persian Gulf. He then left the Navy and started working as a firefighter for the City of Sea-Tac before joining SKFR.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in fire service administration from Eastern Oregon University, and is the current president of the South Kitsap Fire Chiefs Union.
His campaign kickoff event is scheduled for April 16 in Gig Harbor, but Richards said he is planning events soon after that in Port Orchard and Bremerton.
For more information, visit Richards’ website