Two vie for Senate seat
Bill Jenkin, candidate for 16th District Senate Seat
July 16, 2020
PROSSER–As the race for the open 16th District state Senate seat heats up, voters are being inundated with messages on who to support to replace retiring Sen. Maureen Walsh from Walla Walla. Veteran legislator and GOP front-runner, Rep. Bill Jenkin, R-Prosser, is the latest target in a negative attack campaign by Olympia-based special interests.
"I've heard from folks around the district that ads are popping up targeting me, and I think it's important for voters to know where they are coming from," Jenkin said. "It's some real inside baseball, but I'm being punished because I did what I thought was right by my elected Republican colleagues rather than take marching orders directly from special interests."
The ads reportedly running on local radio and TV news stations take jabs at Jenkin over a local real estate tax bill that never came to a vote. The legislation that was part of the City of Walla Walla's priorities would have allowed the city to levy more taxes for affordable housing but died in committee.
"Some in Olympia are bent on seeing me lose over this dead bill because I dared to have a mind of my own," said Jenkin. "We should be focusing our efforts on keeping this seat from flipping into the hands of the far left rather than slinging mud. I'll continue fighting for common sense policies to keep housing affordable, but these kinds of attacks highlight the real difference in the race. I'll never apologize for putting the interests of my constituents ahead of special interests."
After supporting the priority bill at the city's request, Jenkin looked closer at the tax implications and withdrew his support. But for some that wasn't enough. Now, lobbyists and corporate money upset with Jenkin for following internal processes instead of special interest demands are spending tens of thousands of dollars in negative advertising.
Jenkin currently serves as the ranking member of the House Housing, Community Development and Veterans Committee. He is also a member of the Commerce and Gaming Committee, sponsoring bills to support the local wine industry. Bill also serves on the key Capital Budget Committee, which approves money for the construction and repair of public buildings, community projects and other long-term investments, such as land acquisitions and transfers.
Before being elected to the state House, Jenkin served as the Prosser school board president, and was a two-time president of the Prosser Chamber of Commerce. Jenkin served as Rotary District 5060 Governor and has been recognized for his work supporting the agricultural industry, receiving the Friends of Farm Bureau several years in a row. He's the recipient of the Distinguished Service, Volunteer of the Year, and Outstanding Citizen awards from the Prosser Chamber of Commerce.
You can learn more by visiting Jenkin's website at: http://www.ElectBillJenkin.com