A Tri-City restaurant co-owner will run for the seat currently held by Richland Republican Larry Haler.
Steve Simmons, a Republican, will formally announce his candidacy for state representative of the 8th District, Pos. 2 at 10 a.m. April 13 at the 9/11 Memorial at Southridge in Kennewick.
Haler, first elected in 2004, said he will seek re-election and plans to make a formal announcement in the near future.
Simmons is a 35-year Tri-City resident who was general manager of the Firestone Tire and Service Centers in the Tri-Cities before leaving in 2002. He and his wife own the Country Gentleman restaurant and catering business.
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His civic resume includes coaching baseball and softball, advocating for children in the court system as a guardian ad litem, and instructing students in the Junior Achievement business education program.
He is a past executive of the boards of the Tri-City Legislative Council, Richland Chamber of Commerce, Washington Restaurant Association, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, Cool Desert Nights and United Way.
Simmons said entrepreneurship and commerce are his top priorities.
“We need to create a business environment that encourages innovation and risk taking,” he said. He will also emphasize energy and the environment, he said.
Haler worked as a nuclear reactor operator who managed training programs. He favors limited government and fewer regulations and taxes on small businesses.