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2013 Election - State senator, Legislative District 7

Name: Brian Dansel

Age: 30

Family: Wife and 7-month-old son

Occu-pation: Ferry County commissioner

Career/ educational background: Republic High School graduate 2001, A.A. obtained from Walla Walla Community College in 2003, membership into the Professional Golfers Association of America in 2003.

I worked in the construction industry in Republic at different times of my life, and was a golf professional before being elected as Ferry County commissioner in 2011.

• What is your opinion on the state or individual schools mandating community service as a graduation requirement?

I oppose mandating community service as a requirement for students.

I differ with my opponent on this issue, because I don’t believe the state has the right to interfere with parents’ rights.

• With wolves remaining a hot topic in North-Central Washington, what changes would you push for in the state’s wolf management laws and funding for organizations that handle wildlife issues?

I would cut funding to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and I would push for delisting the wolf as an endangered species.

I believe that citizens have the right to protect their families, property, and livestock, and the current wolf plan doesn’t allow them to do so.

• What approach would you take in assuring the needs of rural Washington are not overlooked in Olympia?

As a county commissioner, every day I see the pressure that is being applied to our natural resource-based industries, and property owners.

I would be a fierce advocate for less regulation on private property, a streamlined permitting process that would allow Washington State to compete with other states in attracting and sustaining businesses.

I have a reputation of saying no to special interest groups and lobbyists. I wear that as a badge of honor.

Name: John Smith

Age: 40

Family: Wife, Dezarae; daughter, 15; son, 10

Occu-pation: State senator, small farmer, business consultant

Career/educational background: I have owned and operated my small farm in northern Stevens County for 20 years.

Since 2000, I have been involved in business development consulting, assisting clients with ideas and dreams to build business plans to bring them to reality, negotiating joint ventures and teaching financial literacy.

• What is your opinion on the state or individual schools mandating community service as a graduation requirement?

I voted yes to a bill that “strongly recommended” schools consider making community service a graduation requirement, however the bill also left the final decision to implement the requirement up to the local districts.

There are many districts that currently utilize a version of this idea in their “senior projects.”

As an active volunteer in scouting and church youth programs, I believe encouraging young people to serve their communities is a good thing.

However, requiring it as a condition for graduation should be a decision made locally and not from the state level.

• With wolves remaining a hot topic in North-Central Washington, what changes would you push for in the state’s wolf management laws and funding for organizations that handle wildlife issues?

Regional delisting of the gray wolf in Washington state is imperative. The first step is federal delisting, which is in process due to the success we had in Washington this year with the “caught in the act” rule change.

This year, we also reduced the general fund allocation to WDFW and implemented specific funding mechanisms to direct funding toward compensation to ranchers, tools for prevention of attacks and resources for addressing emergency situations such as the “Wedge Pack” catastrophe in Stevens County.

We must stop the capital budget allocation allowing for additional WDFW land purchases.

• What approach would you take in assuring the needs of rural Washington are not overlooked in Olympia?

I was effective this year in representing the rural lifestyle, culture and values of the 7th District because I have lived it for the past 24 years.

I love our region and its people.

I believe the best way to overcome a bad idea is through a respectful and intelligent expression of a better one, not a personal attack or political drama like we see in D.C. As a result, I have earned the respect and endorsement of senators from all over the state, all who acknowledge they learned something about our rural culture as a result of our interaction.

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