Grays Harbor County Commission Race: When It Raines, It Pours

Filing week is in Grays Harbors’ rear view mirror and primary ballots are set to go out on July 16. The race for county commissioner is an interesting one, with a crowded field jockeying for outgoing Commissioner Welch’s (R) seat in District 3. The top two will advance to the general election in November.  Those two will be Vickie Rainies (NP) and Al Smith (D). Raines is the candidate who can pour out the pluses.

10408884_778007188885804_8054117509730305363_nA thirty-year resident of Grays Harbor transplanted from Marysville, Raines is a former Cosmopolis City Council member and the current Mayor of Cosmopolis. She was appointed and sworn in as Cosi mayor in 2002, elected in 2003, and re-elected in 2007 and 2011.

Raines cleared the gate in the commish race early, announcing her plans to run last November. She grabbed the rail and hasn’t looked back. Raines put together a campaign team, strategy, social media presence, meet and greets in Hoquiam, Lake Quinault/Neilton, Aberdeen and Wishkah Valley, and an impressive events calendar before any other contender took the field. According to campaign co-chairs Kellie Daniels and Tami Garrow:

Endorsements are piling up with several hundred people supporting Vickie from every part of the County. The endorsement list continues to grow daily and our grassroots volunteer list is simply amazing!

Her campaign Facebook page is flirting with 500 likes. The rest of the wannabes are scrambling to catch up.

With fourteen years of experience as a community elected official under her belt, Raines is politically savvy and well-seasoned. She has a proven track record of effective and innovative management, particularly as it relates to local flood-control issues and shepherding Cosmopolis through the Weyerhauser shutdown.

Raines’s top issues include Open Government,  Tourism, and Jobs. She says she would “like to see the County establish a strategic plan to enable us to be the driver of our future. They currently do not have a plan and therefore, actions are often made in a re-active manner, versus being pro-active.” Her press release emphasizes “common sense leadership” with a focus on “sustaining and creating new jobs in every corner of the County” as well as her experience in  private sector and non-partisan contexts:

“I will work for ALL of Grays Harbor and as such, I will be non-partisan in my pursuit to bring jobs and economic opportunities to Grays Harbor County. I will listen – I will apply common sense – I will implement good ideas and I will work diligently to solve problems and create new opportunities. I will work for you, and I will be, ‘A LEADER FOR ALL OF US’.'”

She adds:

…we must look at the County’s assets, buildings, equipment and such to create some type of maintenance &/or procurement plan to repair or replace these items.

With regards to tourism, I believe we are moving in the right direction with the fairgrounds and the raceway, but those two assets should be self-sufficient. More can be done to help promote tourism throughout the county and specifically to review the needs of the unincorporated areas such as Grayland, Tokeland, Pacific Beach & Quinault.

Jobs are critical. With Grays Harbor holding the bag with the state’s highest unemployment, we need to do what we can to promote family wage jobs and assist where possible with existing and potential business owners and industry to bring forth more jobs, but doing so without getting in their way.”

“Other issues” cited include Wild Olympics, Crude by Rail, and the possible formation of a public hospital district.

Personable and approachable, Raines is also described as “tough” or “pragmatic.” Her combination of experience, gravitas, and level-headed approach to complex issues will well serve Harborites in these challenging economic times.


Best of Times for Mayor Vickie Raines

Mayor Vickie Raines to Announce Candidacy for County Commissioner

Vickie Raines to Run as Non-Partisan for GH County Commissioner

Raines Web Site

Raines for County Commissioner on Facebook

 Campaign address: Friends for Vickie Raines * PO Box 213 Hoquiam, WA 98550

Photo credit: Vickie Raines for Grays Harbor County Commissioner District 3