Election Guide: 23rd District State Representative Position 2

Gig Harbor Businesswomen Marlyn Jensen (R) vs. Retired Navy Captain Larry Seaquist (D), the incumbent.

At the outset, Larry Seaquist and Marlyn Jensen promised to keep this campaign cordial, to address the issues rather than attack each other.

They have stuck to this promise, more or less — aside from Jensen calling Seaquist the “P” word. Politician.

“I am a businesswoman,” Jensen said. “I am not a politician. Larry is the politician. He has been down there for two years and did not do what he went down there to do. He believes in tax increases and government spending. I believe that people know best how to spend their money, while he believes that the government knows best.

“If you want to pay more taxes, vote for him,” she said. “If you want to keep it reasonable, then vote for me.”

“If you listen to Marlyn,” Seaquist said, “you would think that all the people in government are parasites, all poor people are corrupt and all taxes are theft. We have some serious problems, but we should be taking positions that don’t elicit divisiveness.

“I’m talking about the problems that face our society and our economy,” he said, “what is facing us in Kitsap and the rest of the district. What I am hearing from my opponent is a set of slogans, the same old things that candidates have been slinging around for 20 years.”

Cordial? Yes.

Boring? No.

Both candidates see a need to cut expenses.

“You can’t just cut one thing,” Seaquist said. “You need to cut a lot of things in a lot of departments. The way to do this is to turn loose each of our 21 legislative committees to find cuts in their areas and trade off these cuts with things they would like to add. We need to set up a process where voters can see what we are doing, and they can understand where we are cutting from and where we are adding.”

“We’ll have to look at what programs we can cut,” Jensen said. “There are a lot of different areas we can look at. There is always discretionary spending in every budget, so we would look at this and this is where we would cut.”

Seaquist has cited increasing the efficiency of the Washington State Ferry system as his priority, and feels that the WSF headquarters is overstaffed. Jensen wants to lessen the burden on small businesses and address their inordinately high failure rate.

In contrast to the relative stability of the Position 1 seat, which Pat Lantz has held for 12 years, this seat has changed at every election for 10 years, from Lois McMahan to Brock Jackley to McMahan again, then Derek Kilmer.

Seaquist was elected in 2006 when Kilmer moved up to the state Senate.

Seaquist is a retired Navy captain. Jensen has run a property management company and volunteered for Republican causes and candidates.

This is her first attempt at elected office.

The candidates faced each other in the August primary. Seaquist won both counties, earning 18,227 votes to Jensen’s 14,901.

These results were inconclusive, since many voters knew the contest was not decisive and did not participate.

Seaquist is supported by the Washington State Fraternal Order of Police and the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. He has also received the endorsement of House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-Seattle), who said Seaquist is one of the most effective legislators in the house.

Jensen has received support from Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, Secretary of State Sam Reed, Attorney General Rob McKenna and South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel.

Web sites: www.unitedformarlyn.com; www.electlarryseaquist.com

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