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.
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.