Election Watch 2016: Candidate Q&A — State Rep. District 21, Pos. 2

Updated July 22 with responses from Republican candidate Jeff Scherrer

Publisher’s note: We submitted questions to all local Washington State House of Representative candidates whose names will appear on the Aug. 2, 2016 primary election ballot. Here are the responses received from those vying for the Position 1 in the 21st Legislative District, which includes parts of Edmonds and Lynnwood. To find your legislative district, click here.

Lillian Ortiz-Self, incumbent, Democrat

Lillian Ortiz-Self
Lillian Ortiz-Self

I am a school counselor and a mental health counselor. My educational background includes a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Master’s in Counseling. I have worked across child- serving systems my whole career. I believe in giving back to my community and have volunteered for educational institutions, not-for-profit agencies, several statewide education task forces and as the Chair of the Commission for Hispanic Affairs for the Governor’s office.

Q: If elected, what is your top priority?
My priority continues to be to fully fund education, while establishing policies that address the district needs we need to address the issues of the whole child which has to include the needs of their family. I want to make sure we not only fully fund education so that equitable access is not determined by your zip code, but also that we make sure we use those dollars so that all children achieve academic success.

In addition, continual job growth is always a priority. I fought for a transportation package that brought hundreds of jobs to Snohomish County and want to assist in the changes and implementation of that plan. I continue to fight for incentives to address job shortage areas, workers rights, and supporting small businesses. This must be done while protecting our environment and our most vulnerable.

Q: What motivated you to run for this position?  
As a school counselor, I see everyday the struggles and barriers our children and families face. As someone in the trenches I know how State policy effects us at the local level. I continue to run for office so that I can elevate the voices of the children and families in our communities facing unemployment, in need of transportation, health care, mental health, substance abuse, housing, etc.

Q: What do you want to see change?
There are many things. To name a few…

Fully fund education with the goal of all academic success for all students

Educational access for all from early learning to career and higher education

Protecting our safety nets

Protecting our environment

Fix a broken mental health system

Protect workers rights and support our small businesses, which will help strengthen our middle class.

Q: Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?
I have the educational experience, the work experience and more importantly I am in the trenches everyday working with children and families and know first hand the barriers they face and the gaps in our service systems. As a previous small business owner I understand the difficulty in getting a business off the ground and sustaining it. As a union member I know how hard they fight for their members to have a living wage job.

Q: How can people contact you if they want more information?
They can visit my website: electlillian.com

They can email me at electlillianortizself@gmail.com

Or call my campaign office at 626-600-1192

Mohammed Riaz Khan, no party preference

img_0052 (3)Background:
Currently working at The Boeing Company in Everett as a manufacturing engineer and also managing a successful investment company as a managing director. PhD candidate in leadership; Master’s degree in business administration (Leadership); Masters’ degree in human resources & development and certified public manager.

Q: If elected, what is your top priority?
Education and safety. My priorities are bringing jobs back to Snohomish County and make sure that our schools are fully funded including child welfare reform, that class sizes are reduced and employ more teachers. I will fight for a comprehensive mental health care system and I stand up for caring for our seniors, vets and small business.

Q: What motivated you to run for this position? What do you want to see change?
For past 10 years I have been watching continuously and nothing has been done in this district, especially for education and transportation. overcrowded schools, and heavy congestion on the roads. I feel shame that they are still asking for more time to improve. It should not take years to do the job. Therefore, I have decided to take part in the election to develop Snohomish County.

Q: Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?
I believe we should all give back to our community, especially to the brave women and men who keep our county safe. I serve on a budget committee for the Mukilteo School District. I am very much involved in the community leadership and being a lawyer’s grandson and a scientist’s son, raised to respect public service and public interest. As a parent of three children in the Mukilteo School District, I have been a strong supporter of education and safety.

Q: How can people contact you if they want more information?
Email riazakhan@hotmail.com or call 210-385-5500

Jeff Scherrer, Republican

Jeff Scherrer
Jeff Scherrer

Lives in Edmonds. A former Intel product manager for a local electronics distributor; founded a company selling small computers; developed analytical tools and programs at Microsoft and Washington Mutual. Graduated from Lincoln High School of Seattle; received an Associate of Arts Degree at North Seattle Community College and studied at the University of Washington, School of Business.

Q: If elected, what is your top priority?
Stimulating our economy, improving education performance and responsible government

Q: What motivated you to run for this position? What do you want to see change?
There are many opportunities to improve government in Olympia. I would like to see our representatives pay closer attention to what voters want and less to special interests.

Q: Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?
I am not a representative of union bosses and special interests. I have been in private business all of my life. When I represent the 21st, I will listen to what the voters and small and medium size businesses want.

Q: How can people contact you if they want more information?
They can email me at Jeff@Jeff4State.com, view my website at Jeff4State.com, my Facebook page at Facebook.com/Jeff4State.

Libertarian candidate Bruce Gutherie did not respond to our questions.

You can learn more about all candidates in the online voter’s pamphlet here. The top two vote getters will advance to the November general election, regardless of party.


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