The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Cathlamet teacher runs for state legislature


August 23, 2018

Joel McEntire, a local resident and teacher at Wahkiakum School District, is running for the Legislative District 19, Position 2, against incumbent Brian Blake.

McEntire, who prefers the Republican Party, earned 21.79 percent of the vote in the primary to beat out David Parsons of Longview and stay in the race.

He began teaching at John C. Thomas Middle School in 2016 after earning a BS in evolutionary ecology from Central Washington University. In 2018, he obtained an MA in mathematics education from Western Governors University.

McEntire is currently deployed overseas as a sergeant with the United States Marine Corps and responded to a request for an interview via email.

“I come from a line of loggers on my mother’s side in southwest Washington,” McEntire wrote. “Names from my family that may be familiar to people in the region are Marsyla, Dodge, Nelson, and Jensen.”

McEntire’s first job was at Columbia View Care Center in Cathlamet. After graduating from Wahkiakum High School in 2006, he served a two year mission for his church in Cleveland, Ohio, focusing on humanitarian work and drug cessation. In 2009, he returned to the Northwest, where he attended Tacoma Community College, eventually earning an associate’s degree from Pierce Community College.

In 2011, he joined the Marine Corps.

“I want to make a difference for the positive,” McEntire wrote. “I am tired of being a Monday morning quarterback. I keep saying that if I had a say, I would do things differently. I believe that elected officials don’t necessarily represent the best and brightest that our society has to offer. That isn’t to say that I am the best and brightest of society, but I feel I have to try.

"Too many good people with good ideas avoid running for political office because they know it is the quickest way to to get half of the population to hate you. Good people avoid running because they don’t want their good name tarnished. I believe in the election process and that if more people will choose to run, people can have a better selection of candidates. I feel the best way is to lead by example. I am running because I want to be a force for good in my community and I feel that voting every two years to make change is inadequate.

“Should I be elected, I will work to make sure that your hard earned tax dollars go to good use that will benefit citizens of the whole state and not just localities in Seattle. I will work to make sure that our economy is one that works for all the citizens and not a special donor class of the one percent. I will make quality of education and school safety primary issues. My time working in education has taught me a great deal about our education system and how we can see improvements.

"With the knowledge I have obtained as a teacher, and discipline and honor that has been instilled in me by the Marine Corps, I am ready, qualified, and eager to serve in this position. I will not let down the citizens of the 19h District."


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