Education: Peshastin-Dryden High School; Wenatchee Valley College; Seattle Pacific University, BA in Education. Professional experience: elementary school teacher; third-generation orchardist; president of K&L Orchards Inc.; Realtor; Washington Agriculture & Forestry Education Foundation (participant and Board of Trustees member); Leavenworth Coffee Roasters (partner); Washington State Horticulture Association member; Farm Bureau member.
Elected experience: House of Representatives 2019-2020; Assistant Ranking Member State Government and Tribal Relations Committee; Chelan County Commissioner 2003-2018; Winter Pear Committee; Blue Star Growers Board; Peshastin-Dryden School Board; Republican Precinct Committee Officer; Chelan County Republican Party Chair.
Public service: Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest Advisory Committee; Leavenworth Nazarene Church Board; Rotary; Confluence Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees; Cascade Education Foundation Board Member; youth sports coach.
Family: Married to my wife, Lisa, for 46 years, three married children, six grandchildren.
Washington State Farm Bureau; National Federation of Independent Business; NRA; Washington Hospitality Assn.; Retired Public Employees Council; Building NCW; Washington Food Industry Assn.; Family Policy Institute of Washington; Human Life of Washington.
http://www.keithgoehner.com; Facebook, Keith Goehner GOP, Instagram.
Brief statement of candidacy
I am running to continue to represent the 12th District because of my desire to see positive outcomes in life for my constituents. From my experience as a county commissioner, I realize how critical it is to have a representative in the process who understands the impacts and outcomes of legislation in our district. My commitment to serving the public is a driving force in representing the interests of the 12th District in a manner that considers the diversity of people and their concerns.
Why would you best represent the district?
My background and experience in public service uniquely qualifies me for the position of Representative. As a self-employed individual with the responsibility of ensuring employment for my employees, I understand the challenges of navigating the regulatory environment of business owners. My education experiences, in the classroom and as a school board member, gave me insights into the challenges of K-12 education, which is a major responsibility of the state. Family interests in timberland and involvement in the timber industry also have given me understanding and knowledge in forest management which is invaluable in negotiating for an emphasis on forest management. My goal is to support legislation that enhances living conditions for the benefit of all the people of the 12th District.
What are the issues and positions that distinguish you as a candidate?
My concern for recognizing local government as an extension of the state is a distinguishing factor in my candidacy. Local governments provide numerous services for the state but do not get fully reimbursed. The counties assess property, collect taxes, conduct elections, develop comprehensive plans and protect critical areas, provide jail facilities for state offenders and is an extension of the state’s court system for the state, to name a few. These functions are often not recognized as an arm of the state and it is critical for local government to not have unfunded mandates imposed on them which diminishes their ability to fund local needs. My service as a county commissioner has been invaluable in representing the 12th District local governments and I have been recognized as a City Champion by the Association of Washington Cities for my work in the Legislature. My agricultural and small business backgrounds and my involvement in education also give me a unique and well-rounded perspective for dealing with a variety of legislative issues.
Your priorities for action in the next legislative session?
My priorities for this next session begin with balancing the budget. With the shortfall of revenues, there will be a need to reduce some of the commitments that were made. I believe we will need to focus on our statutory obligations and ensure critical social services are adequately funded. Often, rural districts like ours are impacted more because of the formulas and the limited flexibility we have with our resources and facilities. Our transportation infrastructure continues to be a significant area of concern and projected revenue is not expected to rebound as well as the operating budget. We must preserve our current system and address our infrastructure budgeting priorities. Being a member of the Transportation Committee, I will have the opportunity to address these issues
If state budget cuts are necessary, what do we cut, what do we preserve?
In reducing services, we should first look at those services that are not mandated and do not have guaranteed revenues. We should be looking closely at opportunities to consolidate programs so that there is not duplication across departments. Since there are a variety of funds within the budget, it will be challenging to make decisions that will be fully understood as there is not the flexibility for reallocating funding that would make budget reductions more equitable. As we look to scale back, we also need to factor in the effect of not allocating adequate funding for maintenance to ensure deterioration of facilities does not end up costing the state more in the long term. Education and health care services will be a priority of mine.
What is your position on Referendum Measure 90 related to comprehensive sexual health education?
I would reject Referendum 90 and give locally elected school boards more input into the curriculum in their schools. I am not opposed to sex education in the school and I taught it when I was in the classroom. However, values and expectations of the curriculum are not consistent across the state and I believe that local policymakers should be able to make decisions that more appropriately reflect their communities.
The COVID issue continues to have unforeseen impacts as it has lasted longer than anticipated without a predictable pattern of transmission. We need to maintain a judicious course of prevention with a plan for working toward a return to conducting business and relationships as we did before the pandemic. As we become more knowledgeable of transmission patterns, our personal actions should reflect respect and care for the health of our neighbor. If we don’t strive to return people to work in a safe manner, we will continue to see more small businesses cease to exist which is devastating to the business owner, employees, patrons and the communities served by these businesses. It may be a longer process than we would like to see, but we must do our best to reduce and eradicate the virus.