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Press Release

Tuesday, August 23

AWB endorses Bryant, Wyman

Spokane debates delineate which candidates for governor, secretary of state fit employers’ vision for Washington state

OLYMPIA — The board of directors of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business association, voted today to endorse Republicans Bill Bryant and incumbent Secretary of State Kim Wyman in the 2016 races for Washington governor and secretary of state.

The association’s endorsements came following last week’s candidate debates, held at Spokane Falls Community College, sponsored by Avista and hosted by AWB, KHQ TV, Greater Spokane Incorporated and the Community Colleges of Spokane. AWB has hosted a debate between the candidates for governor every election cycle since 1992.

“We’re at a crossroads in this state where we must decide whether to continue on the current path, which is leading to robust growth in just a few counties in the Puget Sound region, or adopt policies that will encourage growth and opportunity throughout the state,” said AWB President Kris Johnson. “After the last four years of tax and regulatory proposals from the governor’s office – including a carbon cap and an unattainable water quality rule, both of which will increase costs for consumers and employers – our board believes that Bill Bryant will bring a fresh, new perspective to an office that’s been held by one party for more than 30 years.

“Rural economies and small businesses continue to struggle in many parts of the state,” Johnson added. “We believe Bill Bryant’s background as a business leader gives him a unique understanding of the challenges facing small employers, and his vision for collaboration will lead to economic growth in all parts of the state.”

With regard to Wyman, Johnson said her efforts as secretary of state, overseeing the initiative process that has become more and more complicated thanks to legislation and the sheer number of initiatives filed, and that “her four years in office has shown her strength to work in a bipartisan and thoughtful way to make voting fair and convenient, and for the peoples’ voice to be heard.”

In September, AWB will host additional debates with candidates for superintendent of public instruction, auditor, and public lands commissioner at its annual Policy Summit.

About the Association of Washington Business
Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes nearly 8,000 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association, and is the recipient of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives’ national 2016 Chamber of the Year award. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 92 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit

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