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Washington state Attorney General helps Bailey kicks off Senate campaign

Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna and State Representative Barbara Bailey pray during an invocation at a kickoff breakfast Tuesday morning at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge. Bailey is running for State Senate. - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna and State Representative Barbara Bailey pray during an invocation at a kickoff breakfast Tuesday morning at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge. Bailey is running for State Senate.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

A campaign kickoff for a race that some think could alter the majority in the state Legislature drew hundreds of Republican party members, elected officials and community leaders to the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge Tuesday morning.

State Rep. Barbara Bailey wants to unseat Mary Margaret Haugen in the State Senate and she formally announced her campaign at a May Day breakfast.

“I’m extremely nervous. It’s humbling to get up in front of an audience like this,” said Bailey, who has served as a 10th District representative for 10 years.

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, a candidate for governor, introduced Bailey. He said Bailey’s race is important because it is one of the seats that could help end the Democratic majority in the state Senate.

“You see a consistent pattern of leadership based on principle,” McKenna said during the breakfast. He described Bailey as a friend to small business. that she understands the issues that need to be resolved to improve the business climate in the state.

“We’re going to lower the cost of doing business in the state,” McKenna said. He targeted the high costs associated with the worker’s compensation system, the business and occupation tax and the regulations businesses are subjected to as areas that need reform.

McKenna added that Bailey has a tough race ahead as it is difficult to defeat an incumbent such as Haugen, a veteran of several decades in the Legislature.

“We going to need you to doorbell, put up yard signs and contribute,” McKenna said, adding that word-of-mouth campaigning is the best way to run a successful election.

Several hundred Republican party members awakened early enough to attend the 7 a.m. breakfast. Bailey thanked the elected officials for their willingness to serve. School board members, city leaders and county officials were in attendance.

Bailey took a second to recognize Dave Hayes, a Camano Island resident who is running for the House seat Bailey is vacating.

Bailey talked about her childhood growing up on a farm in Missouri, saying the farming background instilled the values she uses in the Legislature. She said she will work to protect the environment, knows the value of an education and will buck the current trend and spend only what the state can afford.

“This state has been buying, buying and buying and it can’t pay the bill,” Bailey said.

Bailey expressed hope the November election will result in Republican control of both houses of the Legislature along with the governor’s office.

“It’s not easy being in the Legislature in a minority. I’m tired of being in the minority and you’re going to help me be in the majority,” Bailey said.

 

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