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Press Release

Friday, September 19

AWB announces final endorsements in 2014 election

Employers back candidates for Legislature, oppose I-1351

OLYMPIA — The Association of Washington Business concluded its endorsements for the 2014 election cycle Thursday with the approval of 14 additional legislative candidates and opposition to Initiative 1351, a costly and unfunded proposal to reduce school class size.

In May, the group issued automatic endorsements to 43 incumbent candidates who received an 80 percent or better voting record on business issues.

“Initiative 1351carries a huge price tag with little assurance that it will do anything to improve education,” said AWB President Kris Johnson. “It would increase spending on K-12 education by $4.7 billion through 2019, over and above the cost of complying with the Washington Supreme Court’s mandate to fully fund basic education. Because the initiative contains no dedicated funding source, it would require lawmakers to either cut other programs or raise taxes in order to pay for it. Furthermore, it’s not clear that reducing class size automatically leads to better outcomes. We need to be smart about how we invest in education. I-1351 is a poor investment.”

Candidate endorsements are the result of a months-long process that includes member input and candidate interviews.

“Voters will have an opportunity this fall to help shape Washington’s economic future,” Johnson added. “Some parts of the state are emerging from years of recession, but the recovery is uneven and too many counties continue to struggle with high unemployment. Employers need representatives in Olympia — from every corner of the state — who understand the issues they face and the impact that legislative decisions have on small, medium and large businesses. The endorsed candidates demonstrated, through interviews and surveys, an understanding of employer concerns and a strong commitment to improving Washington’s business climate.”

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


District Position
Name
Party
1
Rep. Pos. 2
Edward J. Barton R
4 Rep. Pos. 1 Bob McCaslin R
14
Rep. Pos. 2 Gina R. McCabe R
23
Rep. Pos. 1
Scott Henden
R
23
Rep. Pos. 2
James M. Olsen
GOP
26
Rep. Pos. 1
Jesse Young
R
28
Rep. Pos. 2
Paul Wagemann
R
31
Rep. Pos. 1
Drew Stokesbary
R
33
Rep. Pos. 2
Jeanette Burrage
R
35
Rep. Pos. 1
Kathy Haigh
D
42
Rep. Pos. 1
Luanne VanWerven
R
44
Senator
Steve Hobbs
D
44
Rep. Pos. 2
Mark Harmsworth
R
45
Rep. Pos. 1
Joel Hussey
R

A list of AWB’s previously endorsed candidates is available online. AWB’s 2014 Legislative Review and Vote Record is also available online.

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 more than 8,100 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 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
www.awb.org.

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