Primary election choices: U.S. Congressional District 1

For those of you still mulling over your choices for the primary election, we will be providing summaries here, culled from candidates’ websites, news releases and the Snohomish County online voter’s pamphlet, which can be accessed online. (Note: we have not provided background on the U.S. Senate race, as that is a statewide contest and has been covered widely in the news media.) We’ll start with the race for Congress in District 1, which includes Edmonds:

U.S. Congressional District 1

Jay Inslee (incumbent)

In a letter distributed to voters at the Edmonds candidates’ forum last week, Inslee noted that “this has been a year of hard choices for many Americans,” and adds that “it is more important than ever to have people in Congress who will stand up for working families.” Inslee calls for “a new economy based on rational policies” that include advancing new clean energy jobs, and he vows to fix Medicare by eliminating the “donut hole,” and continuing to fight efforts to privatize Social Security.  He lists as his accomplishments his work to pass bills that strengthen fair pay, increase college aid for students, improve the quality and quantity of physical education in schools, ensure the safe disposal of prescription drugs and reform health care. Campaign information:

David D. Schirle

Schirle is a former private practice physician and a member of the Washington National Guard who served in Iraq as a brigade surgeon from 2003 to 2005 . He retired from the guard as an Army Major with 35 years of service. On his website, Schirle says it is “time to elect people who are simply Americans and not carreer politicians or some elite group of People who say they have all the answers.” He promises to vote yes for a balanced budget amendment, for a flat federal income tax and to finish the fence between Mexico and the U.S., and to vote no on any bill that increases the cost of the national debt or that has “set-asides or Pork.”

Matthew Burke

Burke is a financial planner who says the nation’s financial crisis was caused by “cheap money and easy credit” and that the government can’t “print, borrow and spend our way back to economic prosperity.” He calls for a restoration of limited government and a return to the concepts of individual freedom and responsibility and free markets. have never before run for public office.  I am running not because of any personal desire, need, or ambition,” Burke says. “I’m running because I feel that I must. I can no longer sit idly by while a group of career politicians and entrenched bureaucrats destroy our great country.” He lists as among his endorsements the Human Life PAC, the Conservative Congress, the Washington State Republican Liberty Caucus, and Tea Party leader Jay Devereaux. His website is here.

James Watkins

Watkins is former FDIC troubleshooter and Microsoft Director of U.S. Retail who now works as a business development consultant. On his website, he says he is committed to fighting for the rights of small business, stating that independent entrepreneurs “are hammered by the economy, unfair tax burdens and oppressive government regulations and mandates.” This focus, he says, will also address the unemployment issue, since small companies supply 70 percent of American jobs. He also calls on reducing federal spending, growing the economy through job creation and “common sense immigration reform.” He has endorsements from the Snohomish County Republican Party as well as State Attorney General Rob McKenna, among others, and is a member of the Cascade Bicycle Club and the NRA.

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