While the 2020 presidential campaign trail has been hot for months, two area state lawmakers are some of the first to announce they’re seeking re-election in the Washington Legislature.

On Sept. 24, Washington state Rep. Larry Hoff, R-Vancouver, and State Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, held a joint campaign announcement fundraiser at the Vancouver Trap Club. Both are seeking second terms in their respective chambers, with Wilson representing the 17th and Hoff the 18th legislative districts.

“I don’t think it’s fair to the district and to constituents to just run one time and be done,” Hoff said

He said much of a freshman representative’s first year or two is spent learning how to work effectively in Olympia. He also said there are some issues he wants to spend more time addressing, specifically with regard to business regulations.

Hoff said he has been working hand-in-hand with the state Department of Labor and Industries to “ease some of the challenges that Clark County businesses experience.” He said his office gets weekly requests from constituents who have trouble navigating the needed regulations to operate a business. 

Hoff also addressed the 2019 legislative session, which he believes will bring more burdens to constituents by way of taxes, citing the removal of the sales tax exemption Oregon residents could take advantage of when buying in Clark County as one example.

“I think a lot of that pain remains to be felt,” Hoff said, noting that the financial impacts of removing the exemption would be more clear in the coming months.

Hoff pointed to his 35 years of business experience, which included 15 years as CEO of Fibre Federal Credit Union, as a reason to support him.

“We need to make sure that we start looking at the expense side of our income statements as opposed to just trying to generate more revenue all the time,” Hoff said, referring to the state budget.

Alongside Hoff, Wilson is also seeking to return to Olympia in 2021, though it seemed to be a foregone conclusion for the senator.

“I guess I never thought that I wouldn’t run again,” said Wilson, adding she has had enough people inquiring if she was running again that she felt the need to make a public announcement.

Wilson said her health and energy were both well enough to seek a second term. She had announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer late last year. When she spoke to The Reflector Sept. 27, she said she was cancer-free and that treatment went well.

With health not a concern, Wilson has plans for continuing her work as a “reasonable Republican” in a legislature growing in Democratic representation. 

She said her key focuses would remain the same, pushing back against onerous regulations from state agencies and increasing transparency in government. Wilson pointed specifically to the last-minute approval of the 2019-2021 state budget and use of title-only bills to push through legislation as examples of how Democrats have abused the process. 

“I think I’m on the right track and I think I’m a good fit for the district,” Wilson said.

As of press deadline, no challengers had made announcements to run against either Hoff or Wilson.

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