McEntire challenges Blake for D-19
September 10, 2020
Candidates for local and regional offices were asked to respond to a brief questionnaire from the Wahkiakum County Eagle. Here are the responses from Brian Blake, who is currently the Washington State Legislative District 19 Representative, Position 2, and his challenger, Wahkiakum resident, Joel McEntire.
In primary election voting McEntire showed strength, drawing 52.4 percent of the vote compared to Blake's 47.4 percent.
I am a small business owner, former logger and environmental specialist, and state representative for the 19th district since 2002. I'm a graduate of Aberdeen High School and Grays Harbor Community College, and I've spent my entire life in southwest Washington. I know our communities, industries, values and priorities, and I've acted on them in the legislature.
As representative, I've helped secure over one billion dollars in projects and investments for this district, creating jobs, improving our transportation infrastructure, and funding technical and community colleges and landmark preservation. As chair of House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture, and Natural Resources, I advocate for our communities every day, using my knowledge of our natural resources and experience as a small business owner to fight for working families and economic opportunity in the 19th distrct.
I am running for re-election because now, more than ever, we need experienced leaders in office to guide us out of this pandemic and restore a strong economy for this community. Now is not the time for learning on the job. I have unmatched experience in this regard – nearly two decades of delivering results, needed investments, and new economic opportunities.
Additionally, I am a bipartisan leader and one of the most collaborative members of the legislature, working with representatives across the aisle to secure the policy wins our district is counting on.
In order to recover from this pandemic, we need leaders who understand rural and coastal economic needs and have the skills to fight for them in the legislature. I have been awarded Legislator of the Year by the Washington Farm Bureau because of my commitment to growing and maintaining our state's agriculture industry. I have expanded career training opportunities, secured education and transportation resources, and invested in mental health and addiction services.
I know this community. I stand for its values, and I will advocate for its priorities.
Next session, I hope to continue creating jobs in our district. That means further support for workforce, career, and technical education; new infrastructure development to address the district's transportation challenges; and supporting the development of new manufacturing businesses right here in the 19th.
As the legislature works to help our state recover from the pandemic, Southwest Washington needs a representative who can influence policy and ensure that we get our fair share of support. I will demand meaningful assistance for our corner of the state and fight to make sure Seattle doesn't get all the attention.
I'll continue to advocate for our communities, economies, and natural resources, but, most importantly, I'll continue to listen to the needs of my constituents. I value being a responsive and proactive Legislator, who can work with the community and implement new ideas to put our district ahead. If re-elected, I'll bring that same approach to continue advocating for a stronger Southwest Washington.
COVID Recovery: There are no partisan "solutions" to the pandemic. Instead, we need to protect our physical and economic health while making sure local families and businesses get the relief needed to recover and thrive.
Healthcare: I've fought to improve healthcare coverage and lower the cost of prescription drugs, but there's still more work to do. I will work to grow accessible rural healthcare options, expand mental and behavioral health treatment, and ensure affordable and quality care for all.
Job Creation/Economic Development: I've helped bring countless jobs to our district, from construction of new infrastructure to cutting-edge fiber production to Grays Harbor County. I understand the importance of American manufacturing, and I'll work next term for more new jobs, including making healthcare equipment here at home.
Education: Everyone deserves access to a great education. I'll support efforts to expand child care coverage, give our schools needed resources to improve outcomes, and continue expanding career and technical education, so that everyone can succeed in a changing economy.
Gun Rights: I am a hunter, gun owner, and Second Amendment supporter. I'm proudly endorsed by the Hunters Heritage Council and will always stand with our community, values, traditions, and rights.