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Haugen brings campaign to Whidbey

Supporters’ applause echoed through the Coupeville Rec Hall Monday as Mary Margaret Haugen made a campaign stop in her bid for the state senate.

Haugen is running for the 10th legislative district, which encompasses all of Island County and portions of Skagit and Snohomish counties. The stop on Whidbey came after a day of traveling throughout the district for Haugen, who was born on Camano Island.

“I saved the best for last and came to Island County,” she said.

The purpose of the gathering and the approximately 50 supporters was simple — earn a vote.

“We’re hoping to build an army to convince people I need to remain as senator for Island County,” Haugen told the crowd.

The benefactors of some of Haugen’s accomplishments while in office were on hand to taut those successes. Laura Blankenship, executive director of Greenbank Farm, credited Haugen for the $1.5-million she secured for the farm.

“She always took the time for us, she always took the time for this wild idea,” Blankenship said. “There were no believers until we got her office, then she took the time for us.”

Haugen, who has served in the Legislature since 1982, also touched on the state of education in Washington. She said that more money needs to come from the state and less from the taxpayers’ pockets.

“Our state is turning kids away from its colleges, and that is unacceptable,” Haugen said.

She said the ability to educate the children of this state lies on the budget deficit Washington will be facing in the next year.

Despite the shortfall, Haugen said she was able to secure the funding for repairs to Highway 20. Approximately $100 million is available for upgrades to the road.

“People are concerned that its going to be a bigger highway, it’s not — it’s going to be a safer highway,” she said.

Meet the other candidate

Sen. Mary Margeret Haugen’s challenger in the upcoming election, Republican April Axthelm of Mount Vernon, is holding a “meet the candidate patio party” in Oak Harbor next Wednesday, Aug. 11. It starts at 6:30 p.m.

The informal event will be at the home of Island County Republican big-wig Sheilah Crider, who lives at 1026 NW Kitsap Terrace. Everyone is welcome to attend. Those interested can call Axthelm at 360-428-6055.

You can reach News-Times reporter Eric Berto at eberto@whidbeynewstimes.com.

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