Goehner, Moore stress legislative goals
The two candidates for Position 1 in the state’s 12th Legislative District stuck to familiar themes in an online candidates’ forum last week, a generally non-confrontational event hosted by the Twisp Valley Grange on YouTube.
First-term incumbent Rep. Keith Goehner (R-Dryden), a Republican, and challenger Adrianne Moore, a Winthrop resident and nonprofits manager who is running as a Democrat, appeared remotely for the live forum.
Also appearing for the July 8 forum were first-term incumbent County Commissioner Andy Hover, running for re-election to the District 2 seat on the commission as a Republican, and challenger Katie Haven, a sheep rancher who lives in the lower Methow Valley and is running as a Democrat (see related story for an account of their portion of the event).
Legislative District 12 and County Commission District 2 both include the Methow Valley. Because there are only two candidates in each race, all the candidates will advance past the August primary and to the Nov. 3 general election. Ballots for the Aug. 4 primary election will be mailed this week (see related story).
The grange event was not conducted as a formal debate. The candidates were each asked to answer about a dozen questions, and to offer a final statement about their reasons for running. The event was moderated by George Schneider.
The grange event drew as many as 112 online “attendees,” according to YouTube’s running tally during the evening. Absent door-to-door campaigning, virtual forums represent the best opportunities for candidates to appear “live” before voters.
Goehner and Moore used the opportunity to emphasize legislative priorities and campaign strategies defined earlier. The District 12 candidates only referred to each other’s positions infrequently.
Goehner stressed his experience in the Legislature and the need for more bipartisan cooperation, his emphasis on education, health care and transportation as priorities for the district, and his belief that small businesses need better support from the state to succeed.
Moore focused on the theme of using state policies to create better opportunities of all kinds for working people in the district so they can afford to live here and raise families, and the need for a Democratic Party voice representing north-central Washington in the Legislature.
Moore said she grew up in rural small towns in Washington and “I lived the values I was raised with…helping people building a better life for themselves.” In her work as an administrator at Room One, the social services agency in Twisp, she was involved in fire recovery efforts and making sure people had access to the resources they needed to recover.
Watch the event
A recording of the candidates forum can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_7fngzOePc
Goehner, an orchardist who has served as a school board member and county commissioner, described himself as “someone who really has a heart for service,” able to see the bigger picture and bring strong principles to decision-making. He said it’s important to listen to different viewpoints and represent the entire district.
In the next legislative session, Goehner said, lawmakers will need to tackle a looming deficit in the state budget and reconsider some of the things that are currently funded.
Moore said it will be important for the district to be represented by someone who knows local issues, and that state government “needs to show up” to support families and small businesses.
On another topic, Moore said the coronavirus crisis has pitted “neighbor against neighbor” and created divides fueled by “fear based on misinformation.” The global pandemic is behind economic challenges. Goehner said better preparation and more control are needed at the local level to help fight the pandemic.
School funding needs
As to school funding and the continuing debate over how the state meets its responsibilities to education, the candidates essentially agreed that “west side” solutions that suit large school districts often don’t work for smaller districts in eastern Washington. The Legislature needs to give rural districts more control and flexibility; Moore said that “we need to do better by our kids.”
Both candidates supported better solutions for the state’s child care needs, especially for working parents. Moore said she is a “longtime champion” of child care and early education, calling them “the right thing to do” and good fiscal policy.
Goehner said the state should look at regulations that make it difficult to go into the child care business to make it more feasible and attractive.
The candidates both generally supported police reform, with Goehner calling for flexibility in addressing police issues, and Moore saying that any police reform has to involve all facets of the community.
As for healing societal divisions, Moore said that “a few people at the top are rigging the system,” motivated by greed and perpetuating corruption. She said “access to a better life” would help bridge divides. Goehner said the Legislature could help by being less partisan and “reaching across the aisle” to come up with solutions. When Moore said voting records show Goehner to be “deeply partisan,” the incumbent said he has sponsored bills with bipartisan support and doesn’t always vote the Republican Party line.
On the topic of climate change, Goehner said he accepts the science that humans have had a role, and as a farmer, he is supportive of reduced-footprint action that can be accomplished in a cost-effective manner. Moore said climate change is “only getting worse,” and that the district is poised to develop clean energy sources and responsible manufacturing, but “we need advocacy to bring those industries here.” The candidates generally agreed that the state’s taxing system should be overhauled. Moore said the tax structure needs to be reformed to provide more support for education, health care and small businesses. “It can’t be on the backs of working people,” she said. Goehner said the state needs to look at addressing the business effects of a “regressive” B&O tax. Rural communities are struggling, he said, and the state needs to create a tax system that allows them to be successful.
In closing, Goehner reemphasized that to address critical needs in health care, education and business, the state needs to “loosen up” and “allow people to prosper.”
Moore said she’s concerned that “It is hard for people to make it out here … and lack of good policy makes it harder.” She said people in the district she has talked to “are excited about change because we need it … they need to know a Democrat can win.”