Jodi Wilke is throwing her hat into the ring for state representative in the 24th legislative district. The Jefferson County Republican is facing off against one-term incumbent Rep. Mike Chapman, a Democrat. The 24th LD includes Clallam and Jefferson Counties and parts of Grays Harbor.
A community activist and leader of Jefferson County’s successful No on Prop 1 campaign, Wilke announced her candidacy today at various events in Port Angeles, Port Hadlock, and Hoquiam. She spoke about her plans to make public policy “work better” for the people of Jefferson County and the Olympic Peninsula as a whole at an open meeting at The Jitter House this evening.
“Here it is. I’m officially announcing my candidacy for the Washington State House of Representatives, Position 1,” Wilke said tonight at The Jitter House. She called herself “a proud member of the Republican Party” that “represents the hopes and dreams of the American people.”
Citing her “dedicated leadership” in last year’s Goliath vs. David fight to defeat a pricey Prop. 1, Wilke said she hopes to bring that same kind of dedicated leadership to the State House.
A single mother of two sons, Wilke said she understands and appreciates struggle and hard work. She returned to school at age 50 to be a nurse.
She told the crowd, “Together we’re embarking on a journey not only to win this election, but to discover the dreams and hopes of our district” and expose those who are holding us back. “We need a new Renaissance revival,” Wilke continued. “But when will it come? No family, community, or individual shoud be left behind.”
Wilke said she supports “inventive, smart growth policies,” and getting broadband for the coast and rural communities. Also reducing “undue regulatory scrutiny” and steep taxes faced by businesses.
She criticized her opponent’s support for “budget-busting tax hikes” and the machinations surounding the recent passage of the state budget, which she dubbed a “game of smoke and mirrors.” She also decried the raiding of the state rainy day fund. “My opponent voted for this Ponzi scheme,” she said.
She disagrees with the marbled murrlet issue being handed off to unelected DNR bureaucrats, saying legislators who are accountable to the people should be in charge.
Wilke also expressed disappointment in Chapman’s vote against funding for school resource officers. “That seems despicable to me,” Wilke said. “My opponent has voted to leave these children vulnerable. I’m all for lowering taxes,” she added, “but some things we must fund. I find this vote shameful.”
Responding to a question from a female high school student, Wilke said, “I don’t think you should go to school and be afraid of what may happen that day. You should know that someone has your back.”
Wilke’s track record as a “bridge builder” who can work effectively across the aisle were emphasized.