LOCAL NEWS: Wahkiakum Commssioners Candidates Forum – Republican and Democratic candidates make their case to voters online
During a pandemic, elections go on. Wahkiakum Republicans and Democrats took the county’s first local candidates forum of the season online via Zoom. KMUN’s Kathleen Morgain has more.
Script follows, Scroll Down to Listen [2:35]
Link to live recording of the Forum on YouTube: https://youtu.be/8nPyRb-hIPA
Candidates for the two contested seats on the Wahkiakum County Commission took questions from the public during an online forum Wednesday night. Mike Backman is the incumbent District one commissioner. Lee Tischer is running against him for the seat. Dan Cothren is the District two commissioner. Tim Lawry has filed to run for the District 2 seat, but did not appear in Wednesday’s forum.
Questions centered on how the candidates perceive the job and its responsibilities. While usually in general agreement about aspects of county government, the answers were more varied when asked: “What barriers get in the way of the job as you see it?”
Dan Cothren, District 2 incumbent, was called to answer first.
“Making sure that, you know, you’re following the rules. Sometimes, I’ve got to go down to talk to the prosecutor because there’s ways that I would like to do things, but you know, you’re restricted, you know, to do those things. So it makes it very tough to get to where you need to be. Because government, bureaucracy, is huge and you run into those roadblocks all the time, dealing with the unions and things, I guess you learn as you go.“ (:36)FF
Mike Backman, District 1 incumbent.
“ One of the biggest things that makes it tough is all the money. Its more about the money. We don’t mind doing things right. Its just the fact that all they throw the mone on there so that we can’t afford to fi our own culverts so you know we have to keep applying for grants and spend energy that could be going forward doing work, doing studies to see about doing work and always looking for and chasing the dollar. That’s the biggest thing that makes this work hard to do.” (:25)
Lee Tischer, running against Backman for the District 1 seat:
“I would say – one size fits all regulations that one looks like in King County definitely does not look the same in Wahkiakum County. And another big obstacle I can see is unfunded mandates. There seems to be more of those all the time coming down the pike, and they put ore pressure on the counties to come up with the moneies to meet their needs.” (:26)
The forum was hosted as a joint effort by Wahkiakum Republicans and Democrats. The hosts plan more online forums for the 2020 election season.
Primary election day in Washington is August 4th.