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Three announce plans for 31st District House seat
The 31st Legislative District’s soon-to-be-vacant seat in the House of Representatives now has three candidates lined up at the door.
Announcing their intention to run are Auburn Republican Drew Stokesbary, Lake Tapps Democrat Jonathon Dunn and Enumclaw Democrat Mike Sando.
The 31st District represents east Pierce and King counties, including Enumclaw, Buckley, Bonney Lake, Sumner and part of Auburn.
The position is up for grabs because Enumclaw’s Cathy Dahlquist – a Republican who has held the seat for a pair of two-year terms – is challenging incumbent Pam Roach (R-rural Auburn) for the 31st District post in the state Senate.
Sando, a member of the Enumclaw City Council and teacher at Enumclaw High School, announced his campaign plans Thursday.
“Too many of the challenges I’ve seen in local government and as a teacher come from the partisanship and bickering in Olympia,” he stated in a press release. “I decided to run because like so many of you I’m frustrated by the gridlock in our state capital.
“The Supreme Court has made it clear we aren’t making our public schools a priority. Our kid’s future is too important to sit on the sidelines and hope that things will improve. I believe that it’s important to bring a teacher’s perspective to the table and work to make our schools better.”
Sando has been a visible figure in the Enumclaw community, including his involvement with little league baseball, organizing community events and serving on Enumclaw’s Planning Commission and City Council. Before working as a teacher, he was a legislative aide to State Sen. Valoira Loveland, a moderate Democrat from the Tri-Cities area.
Sando lives with his wife, Erin, and their two children in Enumclaw.
Stokesbary, a lawyer and conservative activist, has a state lawmaker as part of his family. His wife, Ashley, is the daughter of Rep. Mark Hargrove.
Stokesbary, who works as a policy aide for King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer, has helped organize numerous town halls in the district on such topics as property taxes, combating domestic violence and preventing identity theft.
“I’ve been a life-long grassroots activist for the cause of limited government. Olympia needs more legislators who believe limited government is good government,” he said.
He will campaign on supporting local schools, promoting jobs and small business and defending property rights.
Stokesbary graduated from Duke University with a degree in economics and earned his law degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Dunn, a father of two, served in the U.S. Army in operations at an army hospital. He served until the end of 2012 before beginning his current job working in the medical biotechnology industry offering consulting services to various hospitals and clinics across the Northwest.
“I’m running for the legislature because we need more independent voices who understand the struggles of hard working local families,” Dunn said. “The legislature has some big obligations in front of it and we need leaders who can work across the aisle to find real solutions to education, transportation and social service funding while making sure we can make government more accountable and efficient.”
Dunn, who grew up in the foster care system from the age of 4, is running on a platform that includes increased funding for foster support services and a prioritization of school funding in budgeting decisions. Dunn recently gained permanent custody of his two teenage siblings and serves on the board of the nonprofit Quantum Leap Educational Foundation based in Kent.
Dunn serves on the board of Exodus Housing assisting domestic violence victims, enjoys serving meals with his son at the outdoor meal site with AOK Friends and volunteering at the Auburn Valley Humane Society.
He earned a graduate certificate in health sciences from the Army through a partnership with George Washington University. He and his wife Kimberly live in the Lake Tapps area with their two children and his adopted siblings.