Make no mistake, the 4th District will see Republican representation after the November general election.
In the races for both representative seats, the candidates are solidly GOP. Style, experience and knowledge of 4th District issues have been the catchphrases.
Josh Arritolo is a businessman who says he is offering a conservative alternative to incumbent Matt Shea, who famously made headlines by meeting with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, famously embattled with the federal government over grazing rights, and militia members earlier this year.
Shea, on the other hand, has been in office for the past six years and says he has solid support for his “Freedom Agenda” – including tea party touchstones such as gun rights and lowered taxes – from his Spokane Valley constituents.
How long have you lived in District 4? My wife and I moved into the 4th District after we got married last year. I grew up in Spokane, graduated from Lewis and Clark High School where I was student body president, commissioned into the Air Force. After the Air Force, I came back to Spokane to open my own business where we've created 46 jobs to date.
Why did you decide to file for this office at this time? I come from a broken family. Eventually my sister and I were abandoned and homeless. I graduated from college, was commissioned into the Air Force and started my own business. Only in America can you go from being a homeless child to starting and running a successful business. I'm running because I want to help kids like me go from poverty to success.
Why should voters choose you over your opponent? Unfortunately, Rep. Matt Shea is distracted by issues outside our district, and it's hurting our residents. The North Spokane Corridor remains unfinished. In the last transportation budget, Walla Walla received $360,000 for Highway 12 while Spokane received only $68,196 for the corridor.
The city of Spokane Valley even had to hire a lobbyist because their transportation projects were neglected. If elected, Spokane Valley can fire their lobbyist, I will be there to actually represent us in Olympia.
What issues do you feel are most pertinent to Spokane Valley-area residents going into the next legislative session? The completion of the North Spokane Corridor. A completed corridor is more than just convenience, it would create massive and sustainable economic development in our region: create 10,000 new jobs, save 9.4 million work hours per year and save 1.7 million gallons of gas a year.
What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? I was surprised when going door to door to meet teachers that had gone to visit Matt Shea in Olympia. They met with our other two representatives, Sen. (Mike) Padden and Rep. (Leonard) Christian. Matt Shea refused to meet with them, they stood patiently in the hallway for 45 minutes while Matt Shea hid in his office, upon leaving his office the teachers again attempted to say hello and shake his hand as he was walking by, he refused to look at them or shake his hand.
This is unfortunately not surprising behavior from Matt, he refused to shake my hand at a candidate forum Monday.
I will always represent and respect all voters in the 4th District and will stay focused on the issues that matter in our community.
Age? 40 years old.
How long have you lived in District 4? I am a life-long resident of the 4th Legislative District and my family has lived in Eastern Washington for four generations -- they ran one of the first stagecoaches in Washington. I grew up in Spokane Valley attending both Pasadena and Ponderosa elementary schools. Prior to graduating “cum laude” from Gonzaga Law School, I earned both my B.A. in history and political science from Gonzaga University while completing ROTC. I currently practice at M. Casey Law. P.L.L.C. in Spokane, and I am admitted to practice in Washington, the Eastern Washington Federal District Court, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. I’m also a small business owner and nephew of the owner of one of the largest manufacturing companies in Spokane Valley.
Why did you decide to run for re-election? When I first ran for this office six years ago, I pledged not to raise taxes and to protect our constitutional rights (to bear arms, speech, liberty, conscience, etc.) – and these issues are at the forefront of every legislative session that I have attended. With Democrats controlling the House of Representatives and the Governorship, they have tried repeatedly to impose gun control, raise taxes, reduce religious liberty, and limit property rights ownership for business and private individuals. I am running for re-election because – in this last legislative session alone – I have been successful in leading the fight to stop the implementation of gun control (via universal background checks) and raising the “Gas Tax” (on more than seven occasions).
Why should voters choose you over your opponent? I offer the voters my legislative record over the last six years – and the pledges (to NOT raise taxes, to REPEAL Obamacare, to PROTECT property rights) that I have kept, as a necessary solution to fight against the liberal/progressive, “big government,” higher-taxes mindset that permeates Olympia. Despite being in the minority party in the state House, I’ve worked across party lines – and with 50 Democrat co-sponsors 12 of my sponsored bills were signed into law by our liberal governor including pro-business and pro-liberty bills that safe-guarded small business and will bring an estimated economic impact of $50 million to Spokane County.
While my opponent claims to be conservative – he has accepted the maximum contribution from liberal labor organizations (like SEIU Healthcare) that demand full implementation of Obamacare, thousands from the pro-gas tax lobby, other special interests that support anti-business environmental regulations. I believe there is a clear choice in this race.
What issues do you feel are most pertinent to Spokane Valley-area residents going into the next legislative session? The most important issue in the next legislative session for Spokane Valley is the threat to raise the “gas tax” by more than 10 cents per gallon. I led the effort in the last session to stop this tax increase more than 7 times – and we were successful.
Unfortunately, my opponent is backed by local supporters of raising our gas tax. He is noncommittal about pledging to vote against gas tax increases. Instead, he makes vague statements like being “wary” of what an increase of a gas tax would do. I can tell you what paying more at the pump will do: It will hit families trying to make ends-meet; it will hurt small businesses trying to limit expenses; and it will devastate our very large locally-based trucking industry. I have proven that working together with local leadership we can fund critical projects like the Sullivan River Bridge without raising taxes.
Another important issue is jobs and getting government out of the way of small businesses so we can get Washington working again. I have successfully introduced and got signed into law many pro-business reforms and more reforms are needed in the next legislative session.
What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? THE issue? The gas tax and a possible increase. The voters are aware that the Legislature tried seven times in the last session to raise their gas tax by 10 cents a gallon or more. I led the effort to defeat each and every one of those motions. I am proud to say that we were successful.
However, the Democrats and our liberal governor are not going to be satisfied until they obtain more revenue to fund their socialist programs – and unfortunately, my opponent has taken money from the pro-gas tax lobby, and won’t commit or promise to vote against a tax increase in the Legislature.
The people are awake, they do not want to pay more at the pump – and as a sitting member of the House Transportation Committee, I can tell you that we can afford maintenance and new projects without new or higher taxes.