Primary ballots mailed out this week; voters will choose whether to keep Schrier in 8th District

Local voters will choose who to send to congress, state legislature and more

Ballots for the 2022 Primary election left elections offices today (July 13), marking the first big date in this year’s election season.

Election day — which is the last day to turn in your ballot or have it post-marked by the post office — is Aug 2., and results start coming out that evening.

Voter pamphlets were mailed Tuesday, and ballot boxes open tomorrow, which is also the last day you can file as a write-in candidate without paying the filing fee. The primary election results are certified — i.e. locked in—Aug. 16.

The top two candidates in each primary race then go on to compete in the General Election, for which election day is Nov. 8.

In Washington, voters this year will decide whether to return Senator Patty Murray to Washington, D.C., as well as decide whether to retain Steve Hobbs as Secretary of State. They’ll also pick a new prosecuting attorney for King County

But in this newspaper, we’ll be focusing on the local candidates and measures that live and work in our own communities. That means the candidates for our state’s 31st Legislative District and those for Washington’s 8th District in the U.S. Congress.

The Courier-Herald reached out to all candidates in local races to learn about their goals and personalities, and we’ll cover the races in more depth after the primary winners emerge. We also consulted local voter guides to learn about candidates. This week, we’ll go over candidates for Congress.

Legislative District 31 Representative Eric Robertson is running unopposed since his challenger dropped out, so we have omitted his race.

U.S. Congress Representative, District 8

Emet Ward (Prefers Democratic Party)

Ward, a former Microsoft and Google employee, says he got a personal lesson in the state of the economy after losing his business and most of his belongings last year. He said that he wants to pay forward the help he received in his time of need.

Ward called for a “digital overhaul” of the government to send funding and assistance “where we need it most, in real time.” Ward said he also has a plan for a system that would detect financial fraud more easily, as well as methods to improve climate modeling, farm production, energy sourcing and more.

Ward pledged to hold “zero investments of any kind” if elected and to make all of his personal financial information public. He said he also won’t take any camping contributions from “any corporate or foreign interests.”

Kim Schrier (Prefers Democratic Party)

Incumbent Dr. Kim Schrier is finishing her first term in Congress, and touts among her accomplishments her efforts passing bills to reduce the price of crucial prescription drugs like insulin, improving healthcare access for veterans and supporting training and resources for police.

Schrier spent more than two decades working as a pediatrician before she went to congress. (She received her medical degree at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine in 1997.)

Schrier, who currently serves on the Energy & Commerce and Agriculture committees, has frequently proposed bills around consumer protection, healthcare and wildlife / forest management in her time as a representative.

Reagan Dunn (Prefers Republican Party)

Reagan Dunn is a seasoned attorney and well-known Republican in King County focused on reducing crime, controlling federal spending and turning the country off the “wrong track” elected leaders have put it on.

Dunn is Schrier’s most politically experienced candidate. He was re-elected this year for a fifth term representing the southeast corner of King County. He’s a seasoned attorney who served as a federal prosecutor in the nation’s anti-terrorism unit, a national coordinator for former President George W. Bush’s Project Safe Neighborhoods and counsel to the assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice. He earned his J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law.

Dunn says he’ll be a better voice for supporting law enforcement and prosecuting violent criminals than Schrier, and serve as a budget hawk for federal spending.

Matt Larkin (Prefers Republican Party)

A manufacturing company owner and former Pierce County prosecutor and presidential speechwriter, Matt Larkin also points to rising inflation, federal spending and crime as key issues in his campaign.

Larkin earned a Masters of Law Degree from George Washington University and his JD from the Gonzaga School of Law.

Sporting his campaign slogan — “Make Crime Illegal Again” — Larkin says there’s a policy failure in prosecutors who refuse to pursue criminal charges. He called “enabling policies” and the situation at the U.S. border as causes of crime, homelessness and drug abuse in the country.

Dave Chapman (Prefers Republican Party)

Running a campaign focused on trade issues, Chapman identifies globalization as a failure that has harmed Americans and calls for tearing down and replacing the existing system of international trade. His Congressional run focuses on re-thinking the trade deals and other arrangements the U.S. has around the world.

“When a foreign government gives subsidies to its airplane industry, or when a country which is selling thousands of cars over here refuses to allow farm products to be sold over there, ordinary Americans suffer,” Chapman wrote.

Chapman has spent decades working with a computers and semi-conducters, holding a Master’s of Science in Semiconductor Physics. He also worked for the U.S. Office of Naval Research from 2006 to 2008.

Ryan Dean Burkett (States No Party Preference)

Ryan Dean Burkett, 49, is a sales specialist at O’Reilley Auto Parts, but spent around three decades in the restaurant industry.

Burkett has run for office before — state representative in 2012, 2014 and 2018, and for Congress in 2020 — though he acknowledges that he’s “never made it past the primaries.”

If elected, Burkett said he’d pass term limit legislation, abolish Daylight Savings Time, and cut Federal spending by about 30 percent while in office. He pledged to take no donations until after being sworn in the first time, to donate a quarter of his salary as representative to non-profits and to only seek re-election once.

Justin Greywolf (Prefers Libertarian Party)

Greywolf, who has career experience working in information technology and software engineering, calls for more effort for programs addressing climate change, equal application of the law and help for those experiencing homelessness, mental health crises and addiction.

Greywolf says he supports a government-funded healthcare system in theory, but doesn’t see it as viable yet. The government should provide healthcare options for those who can’t get it from an employer or on their own, but that insurance coverage shouldn’t be required nor should it be funded through any new or increased taxes, Greywolf said.

He supports a path to naturalization for immigrants in the U.S. already, ending the criminalization of cannabis, and strengthen efforts to reduce the rates of missing and murdered Indigenous people.

Keith Arnold (Prefers Democratic Party)

An employee of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Keith Arnold is a proponent of ranked choice voting who says ideological extremists on the the right and left pose risks to American democracy.

Ranked choice voting — in which voters rank their favorite candidates rather than voting for only one in an election — is a system that advocates say would allow more candidates outside the Republican-Democrat duopoly to make their cases to Americans. It would essentially allow voters to vote their conscience without feeling guilt for not supporting the party’s strongest candidate in the race.

Arnold supports a living wage and place in the workforce for all law-abiding citizens and universal health care. He supports the rights of gun owners to wield guns for self-defense, hunting and target practice, but says “extremes such as 100 round clips” and fully automatic weapons aren’t needed in the hands of ordinary citizens. Arnold says he also would have voted against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and against the decision to bail out major banking institutions during the 2008 financial crisis.

Patrick Dillon (Prefers Concordia Party)

Dillon, an IT consultant with experience teaching English in Japan and a degree in Sociology from Iowa State University, ran to represent the 8th district in 2018. He’s back again running as a “fed-up moderate,” dissatisfied with both major political parties and willing to work as a bridge between Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

Dillon writes in his entry for the candidate guide that the shortest path to improving the country’s governance is breaking up Republican-Democrat rule over political discourse, and calls for unity in the political system.

Dillon also cites experience volunteering as a youth soccer coach at Bloodworks NW.

Jesse Jensen (Prefers Republican Party)

A former U.S. Army Ranger Captain with experience directing health care and technology companies, Jensen is running to push back on “the radical socialist politicians in D.C.”

Jensen cites experience co-founding a task force rescuing American and Afghan linguists left behind in Afghanistan. He earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Columbia Business School.

Like his Republican counterparts, Jensen promises a tougher-on-crime, budget hawk approach to governance. He also supports term limits in Congress.

Scott Stephenson (Prefers Republican Party)

Stephenson is an accomplished engineer and programmer with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan and MIT.

Stephenson is a “proud Trump Republican” who says he was compelled to run due to “the radical Left and weak, establishment Right (who) are destroying this incredible country in order to turn it into a Communist state.”

Stephenson said he would focus on education reform, national security and election security if elected. He said federal funding should be cut off for schools that support “radical trans agenda” or critical race theory and also called for the abolishment of the Department of Education.