The debate between (R-Fall City) and (R-Kirkland), both Republican lieutenant governor candidates hoping to unseat incumbent Brad Owen this fall, had an overall tone of a conversation of like-minded men moreso than a debate, and both said they had really hoped to go head-to-head with Owen at the forum.
Finkbeiner said he would have really liked the opportunity to ask Owen to talk about a current Public Disclosure Commission investigation into alleged violations of campaign finance law for filing late or inaccurate reports.
Issaquah-Sammamish Tea Party Patriot organizer Woody Hertzog told the 30 or so attendees that all of the candidates had been invited, and Owen had asked that the date be changed, saying he had other commitments Thursday, June 21.
Both Anderson and Finkbeiner expressed support for Rob McKenna in his race for the governor’s office.
“He has clearly defined a K-12 plan as opposed to an ‘I love kids’” vague approach, Anderson said of McKenna.
Both Anderson and Finkbeiner said that if they were elected along with a governor from a different party, that they would seek to find common ground with the governor and work together.
“I’d find areas where I could find agreement with him,” Finkbeiner said, citing the example of Republican Joel Pritchard, who served as lieutenant governor during former Gov. Gary Locke’s tenure.
Finkbeiner in particular stressed the role of lieutenant governor as an area where an elected official could work to create bipartisan cooperation among members of the state Legislature.
One audience member asked Anderson to explain his high missed vote count, as published by Washingtonvotes.org, and Anderson replied that at the time he was going through a divorce, necessitating missing some days.
“The days I chose (to be absent) were days on the consent calendar where there were 25 items on the consent agenda,” Anderson said. Prompted by debate moderator, Sammamish City Councilman John Curley asking whether he’d like to “rebut a divorce,” Finkbeiner declined.
Anderson also noted that he is taking no money from special interest groups to finance his campaign, and doesn’t participate in the public servant pension plan as a state Representative. Other than that pointed question, the forum took mainly a tone of informational gathering and the candidates were friendly with one another.
Finkbeiner said one thing he would push for if elected would be instituting an online method for citizens to comment on bills in process, such as being able to comment on bill reports or offer online video testimony to make citizen testimony more accessible.