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Skamania County auditor campaigns for Newhouse's post

STEVENSON - On the same day Sunnyside Republican Dan Newhouse began his duties as the state's new ag director, leaving his 15th District Legislative seat in the House of Representatives, J. Michael Garvison of North Bonneville threw his hat into the ring for Newhouse's old post.

Garvison has been Skamania County's auditor since 2002 and announced his bid yesterday, Wednesday.

In addition to his current office, Garvison is also a board trustee for the Olympia-based Washington Association of County Officials. He is also a board member of the state auditor's local government advisory committee.

In a press statement issued yesterday, Garvison praised Newhouse as an "outstanding voice of calm and reason for the entire 15th Legislative District."

In his statement, Garvison said his experience in administering multi-million dollar budgets makes him a suitable candidate for the legislature as the state is facing an $8.6 billion budget deficit.

If appointed to replace Newhouse, Garvison said he would seek to make sure the state does not balance its budget "on the pocketbooks of the most vulnerable populations of our state."

Garvison said other "planks of my platform" would be to help ensure respect for personal property rights and to encourage the use of renewable resources.

Local Republican leaders will select a pool of three candidates for Newhouse's post, and county commissioners will appoint one to the House seat.

Whoever is appointed will have to run this November if they wish to retain the office.

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