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Knue challenges Bailey in 10th District

A Mount Vernon Democrat with roots in Oak Harbor will try to unseat 10th District Rep. Barbara Bailey in the November election.

Tim Knue is running for Position 2, currently held by the three-term Republican. His name is pronounced like “canoe,” which was part of his makeshift float in the Oak Harbor 4th of July Parade.

Knue teaches agricultural education at Mount Vernon High School. He graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 1972. His mother, Bonnie Knue, taught fifth grade at Clover Valley Elementary for many years, and his father, Jean Knue, was warehouse manager at the Navy Exchange.

Knue went on to graduate from Washington State University. He has spent his life teaching agriculture and helping the local farm community to support and promote agriculture. He lives in Conway with his wife Ricky. They have two grown sons, Paul and Mark.

Knue has also been an advocate for vocational education, testifying in Olympia in an effort to integrate more classes into the vocational program, and to make sure the needs of vo-ed students were considered during WASL reforms.

“I’ve sat on the outside testifying,” he said. “I want to be on the committee, on the House Education Committee.”

Bailey has fended off past challenges from Democrats, but Knue hopes his ties to the Whidbey Island community will give him an edge. “Oak Harbor is the key,” he said. “I understand Oak Harbor.”

Knue was never in the service, but he has witnessed the impact of the sacrifices military personnel make. “My buddies would come to school after their dads were shot down over Vietnam,” he said. “I understand the Navy experience.”

Quality of life is the “core value” Knue bases his campaign on, something he said can be maintained through economic stability, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

A staunch supporter of agriculture, he said the state Growth Management Act “has had unintended consequences.” Many farmers complain the act has resulted in too many land use regulations. Changes may be needed, Knue said, especially regarding the appointed hearings boards which enforce the act.

Expanding health care coverage is another Knue priority. He would like government to proceed toward a single payer health insurance program for all, and do more to “foster wellness.” He believes health care should be a right, not just a benefit for those with good jobs.

Knue recognizes that Republicans dominate in the Oak Harbor area, but he thinks he can overcome that. “What can a Republican do for you that I can’t,” is one question he asks voters when he doorbells. He said he’s working hard on the campaign with the intent of winning.

“I’m not tilting at windmills,” he said. “I want it.”

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