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Bailey backs frugality as campaign starts

Rep. Barbara Bailey speaks to a large group of supporters during her kickoff breakfast Tuesday morning in Oak Harbor. Rep. Bruce Chandler from the 15th District, right, listens intently to his colleague.  - Paul Boring/Whidbey News-Times
Rep. Barbara Bailey speaks to a large group of supporters during her kickoff breakfast Tuesday morning in Oak Harbor. Rep. Bruce Chandler from the 15th District, right, listens intently to his colleague.
— image credit: Paul Boring/Whidbey News-Times

Rep. Barbara Bailey has found applications in Olympia for valuable lessons gleaned as a child from her late father, she told a large group of supporters Tuesday morning at her reelection kickoff breakfast.

The 10th District representative said she remembers while growing up in southeastern Missouri her father walking the fields and scooping up a handful of dirt. After taking in the scent, he would return the soil to the ground.

“He could tell when the soil was ripe,” the Republican said.

Bailey used the example as a segue into voicing her continued support of farmers as “the best stewards of the earth we have.” She added that in her rural Missouri world, handshakes were used as an unbreakable bond.

“I grew up realizing that the only thing we have is our bond and our word, and our integrity,” she said. Making a pledge is a contractual agreement for Bailey, and she promised to see her commitments to constituents through to fruition. “Those things guide me.”

A more fiduciary lesson her father passed on to his daughter was the importance of frugality over frivolity.

“If we didn’t have the money to buy it, we didn’t buy it,” Bailey said. “What we did is, we saved, knowing there might be hard times ahead. We planned for the future into the future.”

At her campaign kickoff breakfast Tuesday, she bemoaned the Legislature’s alleged lack of foresight in maintaining the state’s transportation system.

“We’re going to keep working on that,” she said.

The looming problem in Olympia is not a lack of funds, Bailey continued, but the excessive spending. She said the economy grows 7 to 8 percent annually in addition to the existing funds.

“There’s no problem with money, just how we spend it,” the incumbent said. “It’s not Olympia’s money, it’s your money. It comes straight from you.”

Bailey further opposed the addition of more than 8,000 new state government employees. She said an expansion of government is not the need, but rather a reduction.

“We need to change the culture in Olympia,” Bailey said.

Guest speaker Attorney General Rob McKenna told the audience of Republicans, “I want to stress the difference it makes when you elect one good person.”

Bailey introduced Patti Carter as her campaign manager. The three-term incumbent will likely face Democrats Ann McDonald, currently a Port of Coupeville commissioner; and Patricia Terry from Camano Island.

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