Smith steps up to challenge Haugen

"Norma Smith, R-Clinton, officially announced her bid for the 10th District Senate seat currently held by Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, at a kickoff event held Saturday in Freeland Hall.Smith, 48, has been field representative to Island, Skagit and north Snohomish counties for Congressman Jack Metcalf. She has acted as a liaison to seniors, local governments, the military and small business.Prior to going to work for Metcalf, Smith was president of the South Whidbey School Board.Smith said her priorities if elected include transportation, education and reforming government.I think it needs to be leaner, it needs to be more effective and it needs to be more responsive, she said Tuesday. Smith said state government especially needs to be more responsive on taxes. Every year they look at the the issue, debate the issue and nothing gets done. I'm a strong believer in trying to solve things, she said.That means working in a bipartisan way, rather than always following the party line, Smith said.We cannot use the politics of yesterday, she said.Haugen has always been a tough campaigner and an outspoken proponent of growth management. She has served five two-year terms in the House and is wrapping up her second four-year term in the Senate. She is currently chair of the influential Senate Transportation Committee.In addition to her work with Metcalf, Smith has served for two years as office manager of a South Whidbey church. She and her husband Steve also volunteer their time working with teen-agers. Their own four children are ages 18 to 23.Smith says she has worked closely with Metcalf but she is not a Metcalf clone.I'm definitely my own person, she said. We agree on some issues and disagree on some issues. What I admire about Congressman Metcalf is that what you see is what you get. I want to be that kind of person."

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