Democratic candidate Patricia Terry recently released a cable television ad claiming that her opponent, incumbent 10th Legislative district Rep. Barbara Bailey, voted against several bills intended to protect child safety.
Among those decisions, the three-term Republican legislator voted this year against mandatory labeling of toys that contain lead and against keeping strong pesticides off school grounds, Terry said.
“Voters tend to favor incumbents in an election because of (the legislators’) experience in Olympia, but it does not take that experience to know that we need to protect children,” Terry said. “(This is) not to diminish (Bailey’s) public service, but rather to call into question her judgment as reflected in some of her votes. Did those votes meet the needs of the people in the district?”
Bailey said last week that she had not seen Terry’s political TV ad, but that she often votes against bills because of the details in the legislation.
“Generally, I don’t vote for a bill title. The title might sound good, but the guts may be bad,” Bailey said. “Some bills have no funding sources or ways to execute them. Some have unintended consequences that would be far worse than not voting for them. We must have good, solid commonsense solutions when looking at making a law. It’s important for people to check my voting record for themselves.”
In the August top-two primary, Bailey, of Oak Harbor, garnered 55 percent of the vote for the 10th District Position 2 seat. Terry, who lives on Camano Island, received 27 percent. Ann McDonald, a Greenbank Democrat who got 18 percent, was eliminated from the race.
Since the primary Terry said she has focused on doorbelling in the district and talking to people about their concerns.
“The greatest education is going door to door,” Terry said. “People are really struggling in this economic crisis, and health care is a primary area of concern.”
A longtime nurse, health systems evaluator and member of the Island County Community Health Advisory Board, Terry said she would bring the ethics and integrity of nursing to Olympia.
“We need creativity, fresh ideas and objectivity,” Terry said.
Along with health care, environmental stewardship, transportation issues and college tuition costs, Terry said her interest in Olympia would include changing the business and occupation tax to favor small businesses.
With reductions in revenue projected, the state will have to require fiscal impact evaluations in every area, Terry said.
Bailey said protection of the state’s economy is her primary issue going into the general election.
“It’s all about balancing the budget without putting the deficit on the backs of the working people of this state.” Bailey said. “We’ve got to be creative with a new paradigm to find solutions. It’s time to cinch in our belts, live within our means and get our economy rolling again.”
The incumbent said she is well-positioned on several House committees to be effective in the area of new jobs, veterans affairs and transportation.
“I have been a strong voice for fiscal conservatism and I am constantly looking at ways to save tax dollars,” Bailey said. “I have a strong work ethic and have taken on extra responsibilities, accomplishing a lot of work out of session.”
With her wide margin of votes in the primary election, Bailey said she is anxious that some people might think of her as having already won re-election and not vote in the general election.
“I feel confident and cautiously optimistic about being re-elected,” Bailey said. “But I plan to connect with the people in my district until the last ballot is sent in.”