Wyss is the right choice for state Senate

Since becoming a 12th District legislator 20 years ago I have avoided endorsing political candidates from my district. The reason is simple: I would be working with the person the voters chose, and by remaining neutral I ensured there would be no hard feelings resulting from the election.

Now that I am leaving the Legislature, however, I am free to endorse the candidate whom I believe is best suited to serve as our district's next state senator. That candidate is Jon Wyss.

I met Jon more than a decade ago when he briefly served in place of a fellow state senator who had to leave the Capitol during the 2005 session to fulfill a National Guard obligation. Jon impressed me and many others as being a "quick study" with good work habits. It is no surprise that Jon's talents and expertise have been tapped by many state and federal legislators since then.

When Jon relocated to North Central Washington to become part of a family with deep roots in our region, I was glad to call him a constituent. I was thrilled when he became a candidate for the Senate seat I am leaving.

Over the past two decades I have found that the most effective senators and representatives share a certain set of qualities.

To begin with, they spend countless hours becoming knowledgeable about issues that are important to their districts as well as to our state. They have an open-door policy, meeting not only with constituents but also with lobbyists who represent their constituents' concerns at a group level.

They appreciate the role of legislative committees and actively participate to produce worthwhile bills while earning leadership positions that enable them to advocate more strongly for their districts' needs.

They recognize the value of working within a caucus -- a like-minded group of legislators, such as our Senate majority - and understand it is impossible to accomplish anything significant without gaining the respect of their colleagues.

Also, they avoid becoming known as a "rubber stamp" for special interests while showing an ability to develop constructive working relationships with those across the political aisle.

The people of our state want leaders who can be trusted and are suited for the job. Jon Wyss fits that description in addition to possessing the qualities found in our most effective legislators. He brings a depth of knowledge on issues that are critical to our district, including health care, water, agriculture, fire recovery and more. Also, he is his own man, yet knows how and when to be a team player.

There is one more thing to consider this election. I have every reason to believe our Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) will continue to hold a narrow majority of the Senate's 49 seats after the November election, as we have held since 2013. Governing effectively and advancing your priorities without a large voting advantage demands more from a legislator -- more involvement, more teamwork, more self-discipline. It puts an even higher premium on things like participation and having the right temperament, and that is where Jon shines brightest of all.

While Jon Wyss is the "outsider" candidate for this important job, I believe he also is the stronger, more-qualified and better-prepared candidate - and the right candidate for our district.

Feel free to call me at home if you have questions. Please join me in voting for Jon Wyss to be our next 12th District state senator.

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