Spokane locals Wilson and Graham seek House Position 2

Dave Wilson and Jenny Graham plow toward Washington’s 6th Legislative District.


Courtesy Jonathan Brunt of The Spokesman-Review

Democrat Dave Wilson (left) and Republican Jenny Graham (right) are both running for House Position 2. Neither of the candidates have held the seat before.

By Dylan Harris, Copy Editor

The race for House Position 2 in Washington state’s 6th Legislative District features two longtime Spokane residents: Democrat Dave Wilson and Republican Jenny Graham. The 6th District includes Cheney, Medical Lake, Airway Heights and a small portion of Spokane. The House seat was previously held by Republican Jeff Holy, who is currently running for the state Senate.

Wilson’s Background

Courtesy electdavewilson.com
Democrat Dave Wilson.

Wilson, who ran for Congress in 2014 and 2016 as an independent, brings with him experience as the elected commissioner for the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education. He is also the founder and former president of Interface College in Spokane. Wilson said he wants to bring better representation to the 6th District constituents and make the state government more accessible and easier to navigate.

“I believe that our job is to make sure that the economy runs well and society runs well,” Wilson told The Easterner in a phone interview. “My number one job is to make sure [constituents] get the help they need.”

Graham’s Background

Courtesy @votegraham
Republican Jenny Graham.

Graham has experience as the elected committee officer for Precinct 6312, as a small-business owner, and as an Army Reserve veteran. She also played a key role in passing a bill in 2014 that extended the statute of limitations to allow child sex abuse victims to report the crime and seek prosecution until the age of 30. According to The Spokesman Review, the previous law required victims in most child sex abuse cases to report while they were still minors. Graham shares Wilson’s sentiment that the 6th District constituents deserve better representation to make their voices heard in the state government.

“When I worked on the law reform, as a mom and as a private citizen, […] I understand exactly how hard it was to be heard,” Graham told The Easterner in a phone interview. “I recognize hands down that you represent everybody when you run.”

On Taxes and the Economy

While Wilson and Graham take similar stances regarding the importance of public safety, they are further apart when it comes to taxes. Per his campaign’s website, Wilson wants to ensure that tax dollars are being spent wisely and responsibly, though he does not advocate for lowering taxes. Graham, however, lists lower taxes as the first issue on her campaign’s website. She says taxation is out of control and that business and property owners are facing too high of taxes.

Both candidates recognize the need to continue developing and maintaining a strong economy. Wilson says that improving the education system is a key factor in strengthening the economy.

“When you have a strong economy, that solves a lot of problems,” Wilson said. “The foundation of a strong economy is an educated workforce. My big issue is education.”

On Education

Graham also made mention of education and the role it plays in the economy, but according to her campaign’s website, Graham sees small business as “the backbone of our economy.” She is dedicated to fighting for legislation that would retain and create businesses, and with them, more jobs.

Wilson and Graham both spoke about the importance of higher education and the need for more affordable schooling at every level.

“As a state, we need to invest more in higher education so that young people don’t have to come out of school saddled with a mountain of debt,” Wilson said. “The biggest thing [EWU students] should expect is lower tuition. I don’t know if that will happen overnight, but that will be my goal.”

Graham referred to herself as “blue collar” and emphasized the need to bring trades back into the schools. She also expressed her concern about the high costs of higher education.

“I see how [college] benefitted my children,” Graham said. “I also understand from being the parent that has been involved with helping to pay for the high cost of schooling, that I want to see the cost come down for students.”