Lane Walthers and Chris Hurst have several key things in common: they share a background in public service and both identify themselves, politically, as Independent Democrats; additionally, both want to see their party maintain its slim advantage in the state House of Representatives.
He announced his intent to run for a 31st District seat in the state House of Representatives, the post Hurst is vacating. Walthers issued a press release the afternoon of April 27, shortly after Hurst went public with his decision against seeking re-election.
Walthers, a career firefighter employed by East Pierce Fire and Rescue, resides in Enumclaw with his wife, Rhonda.
As a fellow Independent Democrat, Walthers echoes many of the same sentiments Hurst has shared in recent years.
“People are tired of the political climate in America today,” Walthers said in a prepared statement. “As Americans, we should not be so polarized and I am running as an Independent Democrat to change that culture and bring folks together.”
He has already identified key campaign themes, calling upon the tried-and-true topics of public safety, education, a strong economy and jobs. He has also singled out crowded road that, he said, “are imperiling our economy and quality of life.”
Republicans have chipped away and the Democratic House majority and see the 31st Legislative District as an opportunity to close the narrow gap even more. The 31st voters have shown they will vote for members of both major parties and, due to this being a presidential-year election, large turnouts will play a role.
Candidates for the fall elections will file during the week of May 16-20. Washington state has a “top two” system, meaning the candidates placing first and second during the Aug. 2 primary election – regardless of party affiliation – will advance to November’s general election.