Navy veteran, community volunteer seeks House seat

Clyde Shavers announced his candidacy for Pos. 1 in the 10th Legislative District this month.

A Navy veteran who is studying at Yale Law School while volunteering for several organizations is running for a state House seat.

Clyde Shavers, an Oak Harbor resident, announced his candidacy for Pos. 1 in the 10th Legislative District this month. The seat is current held by Camano Island resident Greg Gilday, a Republican. Shavers is running as a Democrat.

Shavers, a Western Washington native, said he has dedicated his life to public service and credits his family’s long history in the military and law enforcement for distilling this value in him.

“We need honest leaders who answer the call of duty to serve and who care deeply about affordable housing, quality care for our seniors and veterans, good education for our children and a cleaner environment,” he said.

Shavers graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2013. In the Navy, he was a nuclear submarine officer before transitioning to public affairs. He served in both the Middle East and Southeast Asia and is now a reservist.

After serving active duty, Shavers enrolled at Yale Law School, focusing on environmental law, and is set to graduate in May. He works with the Natural Resources Defense Council on legal issues related to toxic contamination of drinking water, clean-fuel vehicles, deforestation and regenerative agriculture.

While in law school, he also founded Yale Coalition to End Homelessness, a student organization that works to develop innovative solutions to addressing core challenges to homelessness.

Since moving back to Whidbey, Shavers has been busy volunteering his time. He is a board member of the Whidbey Veterans Resource Center and volunteers with Goosefoot Community Fund on South Whidbey. He volunteers with Skagit Friendship House, a faith-based organization that provides a variety of services to the homeless and working poor.

Shavers has a wide range of issues that he’s interested in pursuing in Olympia, from the environment to public safety to caring for veterans. He said he wants to help fix the state’s regressive tax code in which low-income earners pay more in taxes than the high-income earners. Many lawmakers, as well as Bill Gates, have tried to fix the code over the years with little success.

“I absolutely do not support raising taxes, period. We need to get money back into the hands of working families,” Shaver said. “Washington has the most unfair tax system. That’s unacceptable, and I plan to fix that. We need economic growth and job creation while also paying for vital services that benefit everyone.”

While he is running as a Democrat, Shavers said he comes from a “purple” family and is open to a wide range of opinions.

“As a naval officer and non-profit leader, I didn’t ask my fellow service- and community-members if they were a Democrat or a Republican. I asked how we can work together to better serve our country,” said Shavers. “And that’s how I approach government – how can we all serve and make our communities better.”