AWB Endorses John Koster



AWB announces final statewide, legislative race endorsements

Employer group voices support for state’s top schools chief and lands commissioner candidates, remainder of endorsements made in state legislative races

OLYMPIA — The Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, announced support today for two candidates running for statewide office, and its remaining endorsements for state legislative races.

After exhaustive legislative candidate interviews across the state and hosting candidate debates at AWB’s annual Policy Summit Sept. 13-15, the group’s board voted to endorse Erin Jones for state superintendent of public instruction and Steve McLaughlin for state public lands commissioner in the 2016 general election. The association also decided on its final endorsements in several state legislative races.

“Erin Jones’ background and understanding of the challenges facing our state’s education system and the need for educational innovation really struck a chord with our membership,” said AWB President Kris Johnson. “As we put more money into our K-12 system, Erin Jones made it clear she will focus on putting in place a clear vision to ensure additional education dollars really make a difference, and that they are put toward programs that improve student outcomes, encourage innovation and focus on high-quality teacher recruitment.”

During the public lands commissioner debate Sept. 14, Steve McLaughlin emphasized the need to protect and preserve our natural resources, particularly as the last two wildfire seasons devastated the state’s forests in Eastern Washington.

“We face many challenges in forests, streams and the Puget Sound, but what our audience heard was that Steve McLaughlin had the best, most diverse approach to protecting and preserving our forests, rivers and aquatic lands,” Johnson said. “His military background was apparent as he explained the need for a multi-faceted approach to dealing with forest management to help prevent wildfires. He is also an advocate for keeping in place the working forests that pay for schools. More importantly, he talked about how we can collaborate to ensure plans for public land protection are embraced by our agricultural, environmental and community stakeholders.”

Candidate endorsements are the result of a months-long process based on member input and candidate interviews. In the case of incumbents, any candidate with an 80 percent or higher voting record with the association receives an automatic endorsement. Automatic endorsements were announced previously, we well as endorsements for governor, secretary of state, state Supreme Court, Initiative 732 (carbon tax) and Initiative 1433(minimum wage).

AWB board members voted Thursday to endorse the following candidates for the state Legislature:

District Position Name Party
1 State Rep. Pos. 2 Jim Langston R
2 State Rep. Pos. 1 Andrew Barkis R
3 State Senator Andy Billig D
5 State Rep. Pos. 2 Paul Graves R
5 State Senator Chad Magendanz R
6 State Rep. Pos. 1 Mike Volz R
12 State Rep. Pos. 2 Mike Steele R
12 State Senator Jon Wyss R
15 State Rep. Pos. 2 David V. Taylor R
16 State Rep. Pos. 1 William “Bill” Jenkin R
17 State Rep. Pos. 1 Vicki Kraft R
19 State Rep. Pos. 1 Jim Walsh R
24 State Rep. Pos. 1 Mike Chapman D
25 State Rep. Pos. 2 Joyce McDonald R
25 State Senator Hans Zeiger R
27 State Rep. Pos. 2 Jake Fey D
31 State Rep. Pos. 2 Phil Fortunato R
39 State Rep. Pos. 2 John Koster R
44 State Rep. Pos. 1 Janice Huxford R
45 State Rep. Pos. 1 Ramiro Valderama R
47 State Rep. Pos. 2 Pat Sullivan D
49 State Rep. Pos. 2 Alishia Topper D
49 State Senator Annette Cleveland D