News

Weigelt gets early jump in 31st race

By Kevin Hanson-The Courier-Herald

Buckley city Councilman Ron Weigelt, a Democrat, has announced his candidacy for a seat in the state House of Representatives.

He filed paperwork last month with the Public Disclosure Commission and has scheduled a series of public meetings throughout the 31st Legislative District.

Weigelt, who has lived in Buckley since 2001, believes he is the only Democrat in the running thus far. He has met with some Democratic Party insiders but hasn't gotten together with state party leaders.

Weigelt is jumping into the race early, as elections for the House seat won't come until the fall of next year. The Democratic candidate will likely run against incumbent state Rep. Dan Roach, R-Bonney Lake, who has been elected to four, two-year terms.

Roach hasn't made a formal announcement, but has filed paperwork with the PDC in preparation of a re-election bid.

Weigelt, who works as a human resources manager for Public Health - Seattle-King County, was elected last month to a second term on the Buckley City Council, running unopposed.

“It's time for a change for a number of reasons,” Weigelt said.

Chief among those is Weigelt's belief that one family shouldn't carry so much political weight in a single district. Dan Roach's mother is Pam Roach, the senator from the 31st District.

“Two members of the same family are representing 67 percent of our interests,” Weigelt said, “and I found that kind of odd. I don't think that's good for democracy.”

Turning to political specifics, Weigelt said there are too many big-picture items trickling down to the local level - things that could be improved by action at the state level.

He sees too many people seeking help from local food banks, including the working poor, and believes the state can do more to help. He believes too many citizens lack adequate healthcare and figures something can be done to encourage small businesses to provide better plans for workers. Even something as large as the ongoing difficulties with the mortgage industry and can be addressed at the state level, Weigelt believes.

“The fact that those things are not being taken care of nationally means they need to be handled locally,” he said.

To help share his views, Weigelt has reserved time and space at five libraries in the district. Locally, he'll be at the Enumclaw library Jan. 31 and in Bonney Lake March 5. Other stops are planned for Auburn, Algona and Sumner. All sessions begin at 7 p.m.

Kevin Hanson can be reached at khanson@courierherald.com.

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