Rep. Smith faces challenge from Mount Vernon Democrat McMullen

October 9, 2018
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Norma Smith (left) is facing Scott McMullen for a seat in the state House of Representatives for Legislative District 10.

Incumbent state Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, faces Democrat Scott McMullen for a state representative position in Legislative District 10.

The district includes Island County, southwest Skagit County and northwest Snohomish County. The state House position is a two-year term.

Smith has served in the position since 2008.

McMullen of Mount Vernon said he plans to support measures to protect the qualify of life in the district, including those focused on a healthy environment, access to education and affordable housing, and ensuring public safety.

He said Smith has failed to represent those values through her votes, including against a bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He also raised issue with Smith’s support of the state’s tax loopholes for corporations.

“The Legislature and my opponent consistently vote in favor of massive tax breaks to corporations ... and I believe the end result is that we have budget shortfalls that hurt people that are in need the most,” McMullen said.

Smith said she relies on input from a citizens committee on the issue of tax preferences.

“We have a process by which our tax preferences are reviewed by a citizens commission ... that was established in 2006, and they make recommendations to the Legislature,” she said.

On the issue of greenhouse gas emissions, Smith said she voted against policies she believed would cause job losses and disproportionately impact rural, agricultural areas of District 10. She said she wants to see the state focus on supporting renewable energy development and improving energy efficiency.

Smith also said that during her time in office, she’s helped pass multiple bills and budgets helping to improve the behavioral health system, improve safety in schools, improve government transparency, help small businesses by streamlining regulatory practices, protect consumer privacy and promote environmental health.

She said she’s particularly proud of her involvement in the past year in ensuring significant funding for behavioral health in the latest capital budget, which included $22.5 million for the North Sound region that includes Skagit, Whatcom, Snohomish, San Juan and Island counties.

“There is hardly a family that I know that hasn’t been touched in some way with either mental or behavioral health issues. ... We crafted a historic capital budget investment in our behavioral and mental health safety net,” Smith said.

She said her experience in office gives her an advantage over McMullen.

McMullen said he also has experience as an elected official, having spent 2003 to 2011 as a member of the Mount Vernon City Council.

During that time, he said he was proud to be involved in expanding the city’s parks, including building the Kiwanis Spray Park, purchasing land for Bonnie Rae Park and planning the Skagit Riverwalk and floodwall downtown.

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