Experience counts, says Washington Sen. Janea Holmquist, who is running for the congressional seat of retiring Rep. Doc Hastings.
"When you run for office you can promise just about anything," she said.
But Holmquist said she has proven she can follow through on her campaign stands and will hold true to her Republican ideals.
Holmquist, 39, of Moses Lake, represented the state's 13th Legislative District from 2001 to 2006 and then she became the youngest female senator elected to the state Senate in a position she continues to hold. She just finished her last session in the Senate, choosing to run for Congress rather than re-election to her current position.
She said she has never voted for a tax increase, and two years ago helped lead the charge for a four-year balanced budget requirement for the state.
"If I can do that in liberal Washington state, I know I can do that in Congress," she said.
Her priorities would be agricultural security, national security and economic security, she said.
"The day we have to depend on foreign nations for our food supply will be the day of our demise," she said.
She would work to ensure adequate water for farmers by protecting dams and advocating for water storage in the Yakima River Basin and within the unfinished portion of the Columbia Basin Project. She would reintroduce a bill Hastings has championed to not only preserve dams but allow an expansion of hydropower infrastructure, she said.
She supports maintaining a strong national defense and constant state of readiness.
And she would bring the support she has shown for small business at the state level to the national level, she said. In the state Senate she is the chairwoman of the Commerce and Labor Committee.
She led work on the most recent workers' compensation reform package, as well as bills on teen-training wages and an amendment to the Boeing bills in November's special session to help small businesses that pay the state business and occupation tax.
Because of that work, the National Federation of Independent Business named her a Guardian of Small Business Outstanding Legislator for the second time.
Jobs can be preserved and created by reducing regulations on businesses, lowering taxes, replacing the Affordable Care Act and restoring the private insurance market, and limiting government, she said.
She supports a plan to turn over some Hanford nuclear reservation land to local control for private industrial development and a proposal to include Hanford's B Reactor in a proposed national park. Both would drive economic development, she said.
The National Park Service estimates that the 10,000 tourists who visit Hanford now would increase to at least 100,000 tourists under the Manhattan Heritage Project, with a ripple affect as tourists visit restaurants, hotels and stores, she said.
She toured Hanford recently and was impressed with the progress she saw since her last visit, she said. Much of the environmental cleanup along the Columbia River at Hanford is close to completion, with hundreds of buildings gone and waste sites dug up.
Federal spending for Hanford cleanup should not be reduced, but neither should Congress give Hanford a blank check, she said. She supports periodic audits to identify wasteful spending and holding the Department of Energy accountable for sticking to the cleanup schedule.
Several projects she said she would champion -- protecting dams, increasing hydropower, preserving B Reactor, private industrial development on some Hanford land -- are also projects that have been important to Hastings.
Anyone who represents the 4th District in Congress has to focus on key economic issues, Holmquist said.
"These are issues too important to leave up to a freshman legislator," she said. "I will not need training wheels. I can start to work on day 1."
She has raised $171,536 in her campaign, as reported through June. That includes $9,000 from political action committees representing electrical contractors, sheet metal and air conditioning contractors and the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals.
Individual contributions have come from across the state, including from farmers, real estate developers and small business owners. A full list of Holmquist's individual contributions is posted at www.tricityherald.com/donors.
Twelve candidates, including eight Republicans and two Democrats, are running in the primary for the 4th District congressional seat, with the two candidates getting the most votes appearing on the November ballot regardless of their party. Representatives are paid $174,000 and are elected to two-year terms.
Primary ballots must be returned by Aug. 5.
-- Annette Cary: 509-582-1533; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @HanfordNews