Q&A with U.S. House of Representatives candidates, Washington 6th District | 2020 Election

Leader news staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 10/16/20

What makes you the best choice in your race to represent the residents of Washington’s 6th Congressional District?

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Q&A with U.S. House of Representatives candidates, Washington 6th District | 2020 Election

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U.S. House of Representatives, Washington
6th District

DEREK KILMER

(Democratic Party)

What makes you the best choice in your race to represent the residents of Washington’s 6th Congressional District?

I ran for Congress because new leadership was needed to fix D.C. 

New leadership means bringing together Republicans and Democrats to find common ground, even though that can be hard. I’m the youngest Committee Chair in Congress, leading a committee tasked with making Congress work better for the American people. We’ve passed nearly 100 reforms with unanimous support of Democrats and Republicans - something really rare in Congress. 

Having worked professionally in economic development for a decade, I’m focused on our region’s economic recovery. I helped write bipartisan legislation to support our recovery from coronavirus — that included rent and mortgage relief, help for students, and a lifeline for the small businesses that are the backbone of our region. But more is needed, and my experience puts me in position to make a difference. 

But bringing people together isn’t at odds with standing up for our values. I helped stop Trump’s attempts to gut the ACA. And when Trump proposed drilling off our coast and zeroing out funding for Puget Sound, not only was I in a position to stop that, I secured a funding increase.

The work’s not done, and I’m eager to keep serving our community.

What’s your top priority if you win?

First, we need to recover from this pandemic. We need the federal government to do a better job of providing funding for and coordination of the testing, tracing and treatment that public health experts say is required to crush this virus, protect people’s health, and get folks back to work. I’ve also sponsored bills to do more to help the small businesses that are the backbone of our economy and to help workers retain their jobs. Seeing those get passed into law will be a top priority.  

In addition, I’m focused on fixing our broken political system. I’ve been a leading voice in Congress for reducing the role of big money and special interests in politics. I’ve sponsored bills to crack down on political candidates who cheat, to keep foreign money out, and to make sure the American people know who is trying to influence their elections. Our system should work for the people, not for special interests and those with the deepest pockets. For my work to reduce the role of money in politics, I’ve been endorsed by End Citizens United and have received awards from the political reform organization Issue One and from the Bipartisan Policy Center. 

What’s the biggest difference between you and your opponent?

Unlike my opponent, I don’t support Donald Trump — nor his efforts to gut Obamacare. I oppose eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions. 

We need to get this economy and our schools open safely. That means crushing this virus. My opponent said mask-wearing is “social control through symbolism.” I disagree — and support following the guidance of public health professionals to keep folks safe.

Like President Trump, my opponent views climate change as a hoax. I strongly disagree because I support science. I’m endorsed by environmental groups because I’ve championed clean air and water, restoring Puget Sound, and taking action to combat climate change.  

I’m from here. Growing up in Port Angeles and seeing our struggles motivated me to work in economic development professionally. That’s why I’ve fought to expand broadband access, fix maintenance problems in our national parks, and strengthen rural healthcare. It’s why I’m fighting for small businesses and our economic recovery. I don’t want our top export to be our kids. 

An article in the Washington Post listed me as one of the five most effective Democrats in Congress. I’m not done working to get this economy — and this Congress — on track.

U.S. House of Representatives, Washington
6th District

ELIZABETH KREISLMAIER

(Republican Party)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Elizabeth Kreiselmaier, the Republican Party candidate for Washington’s 6th District, did not respond to repeated requests from The Leader to participate in this Voters’ Guide.

Information on her campaign can be found at www.CleanUpTheHouse.com.

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