Bill Jenkin, a Prosser businessman and school board member, will run for the 16th Legislative District seat being vacated by Rep. Maureen Walsh, R.-College Place.
Walsh is running for the state Senate seat held by Sen. Mike Hewitt, R.-Walla Walla, who is retiring.
“This position must be held by someone who has demonstrated leadership, experience, and conservative values to make a meaningful difference in our community and in our state,” Jenkin said Thursday in a prepared statement announcing his candidacy. The announcement is a prelude to formally filing for office.
The filing period for posts on local county commissions, the state Legislature, the judiciary and other elected positions begins May 16.
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Jenkin did not indicate a party affiliation in his announcement, and he has not registered his campaign with the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, which monitors campaign spending. The 16th District covers portions of Benton, Franklin, Columbia and Walla Walla counties.
Jenkin was elected to the Prosser School Board in 2013 and served as its president in 2014. He has operated an Edward Jones investment office in Prosser for nine years, and has a number of other business interests, including a winery. He previously worked as an insurance agent for almost two decades.
He is involved with a number of Prosser business and civic groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Knights of Columbus, Boys and Girls Club, the Historic Downtown Prosser Association and others.
He said he will advocate for conservative values, economic vitality and education.
“Much of the economic activity in our area either directly, or indirectly, revolves around our thriving wine industry and supporting businesses. We should be doing more to help this industry compete in our state, nationally, and internationally.
“Our state also needs to address our educational challenges without raising taxes. We need responsible leadership that recognizes the importance of prioritizing the budget to reflect our values, and local control of our schools,” he said.