Blackstone Grill Meet The Candidates

by lewwaters

David Castillo & David Hedrick

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 saw Republican candidates for various offices gather at the Blackstone American Grill, 3200 SE 164th St in Vancouver to give voters an opportunity to meet them personally and hear their positions.

I would estimate about 40 to 50 people attended to meet and hear the candidates. Each candidate there gave a short speech and mingled about.

Candidates that attended were 3rd Congressional District hopefuls David Castillo, who drove down from Olympia, Jon Russell, David Hedrick, and Jaime Herrera was represented by her husband as she currently has other business that must be attended to.

Also present were Peter Van Nortwick, running for County Assessor, Ann Rivers, Brandon Vick and Shannon Barnett running for the 18th Legislative District to replace Herrera, Greg Kimsey, running to retain his County Auditor seat, Brent Boger, City Attorney running to replace Art Curtis as County Prosecutor and Paul Harris and of course, Brian Peck who coordinated the event with the GM of Blackstone American Grill. Both Peck and Harris are running for the 17th District State House position.

Each candidate gave a short speech outlining their qualifications and of course, seeking our vote. Current front-runner David Castillo started it off by laying out his sound vision and impressive list of endorsements and crediting fellow candidate, Jon Russell and himself with contributing to Democrat Brian Baird’s decision to retire.

Next came Washougal City Council member, Jon Russell who continued reminding all that he is small business owner and “knows how to create jobs.” A good sounding talking point, but do we really need more government jobs created by Congress? What private sector jobs could an elected office holder, one amongst 435 others create? I’d much rather elect someone who would fight to get government out of the way and allow the private sector to create jobs.

David Hedrick spoke of standing up to government officials, as he did against Brian Baird at our August 2009 town hall at the Clark County Amphitheater.

As stated, Jaime Herrera could not attend but her husband, David spoke on her behalf.

Clark County GOP Chair, Ryan Hart spoke next, discussing the party caucuses scheduled for this coming Saturday, February 13 and thanking Brain Peck and management of the Blackstone American Grill for organizing the event.

Ann Rivers laid out a strong position on why she is the best candidate to replace Jaime Herrera in our State Legislature, who will be stepping down for her own Congressional run.

Shannon Barnett, a member of the Cowlitz County Planning Commission was up next and spoke of his desire to fill the seat currently held by Herrera.

Incumbent County Auditor, Greg Kimsey made a good argument on retaining him as Auditor and issued an invitation to his annual Pre St. Paddy’s Day Event, to be held at Club Green Meadows, Thursday March 11 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.

Young Brandon Vick made his short speech followed by City Attorney, Brent Boger, running for County Prosecutor to replace retiring Art Curtis, making a compelling case for his being elected.

Brian Peck, running for the 17th Legislative District rounded out the evening with his qualifications and vision.

The evening was basically an informal “meet & greet” giving voters an opportunity to shake hands and measure candidates seeking their vote. Clearly, the shining stars of the evening were David Castillo, Ann Rivers and Brian Peck.

I can’t thank Brian Peck or the management of the Blackstone American Grill enough for coordinating and hosting the evening.

There will be more of these events held in the future and I’d encourage as many who can attend to stop in where they will be and meet the people who hope represent us.

Announcements will be made by and posted on the Clark County Republican Party web site.

Hope to see you all at the next one and at this Saturday’s caucuses.

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