League of Women Voters offers primary candidate forum

Forum includes interviews with 7 of 9 candidates for Washington's 3rd District congressional seat

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The League of Women Voters has released video interviews with seven of the nine candidates running for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District seat in the Aug. 2 primary election. The top two finishers in the primary election will move on to the Nov. 8 general election. 

The interviews were conducted by the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Clark County and the video is available for streaming through election day at The videos also are available at

Melanie Handshaw, co-chair of the League’s Candidate Forum Committee, said the League opted to conduct individual candidate interviews rather than a traditional forum because of the large number of people who filed for the race.

Two candidates – Joe Kent and Vicki Kraft – did not respond to the League’s invitation to participate. 

Incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler as well as Chris Byrd, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, Oliver Black, Heidi St. John, Davy Ray and Leslie L. French participated in the candidate interviews. 

The League asked the candidates about immigration, the role of local news in our democracy, party platform issues, why they want to represent the 3rd Congressional District  and their plans for communicating with constituents. Candidates had 90 seconds to respond to each question.

Handshaw emphasized the importance of voting in the primary: “Often people bypass the primary, failing to recognize its significance. But, of course, the primary is vitally important because it determines the final candidates.”

The co-chair added that the League’s mission “is to empower voters and defend democracy and presentations like this go a long way in achieving these goals.”