Election 2010 U.S. Representative Third District: Heck v. Herrera

Candidates list jobs as top priority

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Denny Heck

Address: 10621 N.E. Coxley Dr., Vancouver, WA

Phone: (360) 944-6925


Age: 58

Occupation: Businessman/entrepreneur

Education: The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Wash. (1973), bachelor of arts

Political Party: Democrat

Community involvement: Board member of the Washington State History Museum; board of trustees of The Evergreen State College; served on the Governor’s recent Blue Ribbon Washington Learns Commission, chairing the Higher Education Committee; along with wife Paula, helped establish the Principals’ Emergency Checkbook Fund for low income children in the Olympia schools; past president of Vancouver Sunrise Kiwanis Club.

Web site:

1. Why are you running for election to the Third Congressional District seat?

I have lived in the Third District my entire life and I have never seen so many friends, family and neighbors struggle as our region suffers from the highest unemployment rate in Washington State.

I’m running because I believe the greatest domestic challenge of our time is getting people back to work in good paying jobs.

I know our district needs a strategy to get our economy moving again and not the same old ideas, and having spent the last decade growing several businesses and creating hundreds of jobs, I’m ready to take on that challenge on behalf of Southwest Washington back in Congress.

2. How much money have you raised so far for your campaign? As of our last Federal Election Commission filing, I have raised $1.5 million for this race.

3. What are the top two issues currently facing Southwest Washington and its residents, and what is your stance on those issues?Ask any family, small business owner or worker in Southwest Washington and they will tell you the same – getting our economy moving and people back to work is priority Number 1. Clark County suffers from the highest unemployment rate in Washington State at 13.9 percent, and our country has had more people out of work for more than six months than any time since we started keeping track.

Congress must make getting people back to work its very top priority. It has yet to do so, as your Congressman I will get up early each morning and work late into the night fighting to get people back to work here in Southwest Washington and around the country.

We need to focus on creating jobs right here in Southwest Washington, and one way we can do that is stop providing tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas. Indeed, how can we forget that 300 people were laid off by Koch Industries after they purchased the Georgia Pacific plant in Camas four years ago?

We must get credit flowing back to small businesses by supporting our community banks and reining in the reckless practices of Wall Street banks that brought our economy to its knees. And we must invest in a clean energy economy, which will create good jobs here in the 3rd District that cannot be outsourced.

4. What should be done to help improve the economy and bring new jobs to Southwest Washington?As a small businessman, I know that 70 percent of new job growth in our country comes from small businesses and start-ups. Congress can and must provide an understandable, reliable and level playing field to foster small business growth and start-ups.

oWe must get credit flowing back to Main Street. I support reinvesting the billions in returned T.A.R.P. funds into our community banks so they can extend credit more freely to local businesses. The long term solution is comprehensive Wall Street reform which will help level the playing field for our community banks and credit unions.

oIn addition, targeted tax incentives will help spur small business job growth. Incentives will allow small businesses to invest in new facilities, equipment and hire new workers.

oWe must also streamline government interaction. Small businesses often feel overwhelmed by the difficulty of interacting and doing business with the government, at all levels. This includes overbearing regulation of small businesses. Congress must streamline this process and let companies get these people back to work.

5. What is the best way to provide citizens access to quality, affordable health care?The health care reform legislation passed earlier this year is far from perfect and is a work in progress. It does, however, tackle important issues and was a step in the right direction. The parts I liked include: Small business tax credits; Stopping the big insurance company practice of denying coverage for preexisting conditions; The creation of state health insurance exchanges which increase competition and lower costs; Expanding coverage to include 32 million additional Americans.

Health care reform did not, however, go far enough in bringing down costs. As I stated previously, we must continue to tackle these costs for the economic security of small businesses, families and our economy. In order to take the next, essential steps we must:

oAttract and retain more primary care physicians. By increasing their numbers we can reduce long term health care costs. Studies show when people have a relationship with a PCP they’re less likely to visit a specialist, which adds to health care costs;

oWe must strengthen comparative effectiveness research and utilization throughout the health care system;

oWe should continue to incentivize electronic medical records, and other modernizations of health care administration.

6. What experience/accomplishments do you have to your credit that voters should consider when casting their vote for this office?Before casting your ballot, please remember this: I am the only candidate in this race that has actually created jobs in the private sector. What we need in the other Washington are people with real-world experience, who have gone through the ups and downs of running a business and know what it takes to help them succeed and what to avoid that holds them back.

As someone who has grown several small businesses and created jobs, I know what it takes to succeed in this arena and I know what it takes to help other small businesses flourish in this difficult economic environment.

Jaime Herrera

Address: P.O. Box 1614, Ridgefield, WA 98642

Phone: (360) 887-3546


Age: 31

Occupation: Washington State Representative, 18th Legislative District

Education: Bachelor of arts degree, University of Washington

Political Party: Republican

Community involvement: Extensive volunteer service at Ground Zero in New York City following 9/11, Starbucks’ children’s literacy program, elderly care facilities, juvenile detention centers, high school clean-ups, park restoration and after-school programs.

Web site:

1. Why are you running for election to the Third Congressional District seat?People in Southwest Washington are hurting, and I’m running to restore jobs to our region.

America is on an unsustainable path of out-of-control spending and more government control, and I entered this race to change the course of our country.

I was raised in Clark County, currently reside in Camas, and now have the honor of representing this area in the Washington state legislature. I know the most tremendous resource we have here is our people. If we start to trust people and businesses to spend and save more of their money, we will succeed in getting folks back to work.

2. How much money have you raised so far for your campaign?We have now raised over $1 million, and we are pleased that the people of Southwest Washington have responded to my message of restoring jobs to this region.

3. What are the top two issues currently facing Southwest Washington and its residents, and what is your stance on those issues?The number one issue facing this region is the need for jobs. We have some of the highest unemployment in the nation. I intend to help government create an atmosphere where entrepreneurs and existing small businesses can succeed and create jobs.

As a state legislator, my first bill was a bipartisan proposal to give tax relief to business owners serving in the military. I consistently fought against taxes and unnecessary regulations that hurt families and businesses here in Washington, and that’s what I’ll do when I get to Congress.

Second, I believe that we must make health care more affordable for families, businesses and individuals. Yes, DC passed a health care spending bill, but it did nothing to get at the root issue of our health care problem in this country: affordability. In fact, the CBO has estimated that premiums are set to rise 10-13 percent. I’ve spearheaded market-oriented health care initiatives at the state level that I will pursue in Congress that will decrease costs, increase access and raise the overall quality of care in our system.

4. What should be done to help improve the economy and bring new jobs to Southwest Washington?First, we have to control federal spending. Right now the policy of this Congress is to run up a huge amount of new spending and put the debt on the nation’s credit card. That kills jobs, and it threatens our nation’s future.

I support a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment to force Congress to get serious about curbing its spending.

Second, we should extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all Americans. It makes no sense to raise taxes in the middle of a recession, particularly on small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Third, we should ask what small businesses need to succeed. Examples would be eliminating unnecessary regulations like the new rule where businesses must file additional tax forms for any expense over $600. We shouldn’t bury employers in mountains of paperwork. My goal is to create an atmosphere where small businesses – the number one source of job creation – can thrive and create jobs.

5. What is the best way to provide citizens access to quality, affordable health care?I applaud this administration for focusing on health care; it’s just that their version of “reform” was completely the wrong approach. It’s time we start over on health care reform with market-oriented solutions that won’t cost taxpayers a dime or grow the size of government.

At the state level, I’ve promoted several market-oriented solutions that would help reform our system, and I’ll fight for those same approaches while in Congress.

These solutions include giving people the ability to purchase insurance plans across state lines, Small Business Health Plans, Health Savings Accounts, putting limits on medical lawsuits and giving individuals the same tax breaks employers get for purchasing insurance. We can make it so that more people have access to good quality care and still have control over their own health care decisions. Americans deserve no less.

6. What experience/accomplishments do you have to your credit that voters should consider when casting their vote for this office?Our country is on an unsustainable path of spending, and I am the only candidate in this race with a proven track record of opposing tax increases and wasteful overspending by government.

As a State Representative, I was ranked dead last on the Evergreen Freedom Foundation’s “Big Spender” list of Olympia elected officials for my strong record of standing up against tax or spending increases. I’ve also been named a “Champion of Free Enterprise” and “Guardian of Small Business” by small business organizations, made up of members who employ residents of Camas, Vancouver, Battle Ground and other cities all over Southwest Washington.

I have the energy and willingness to keep listening to the residents of our community in this corner of the state, and be their voice in Washington, DC.