Sixth Congressional District candidates usually focus on voters residing in Pierce and Kitsap counties, and to more heavily populated Clallam County cities Port Angeles and Sequim.
Bucking this common practice was Republican candidate Jesse Young, 35, who is seeking a slot in the general election race to replace retiring long-time 6th District seat holder Rep. Norm Dicks (D). Young toured the Forks area during the day and held a town hall meeting at JT's Sweet Stuffs on Wednesday evening, July 17. His stops included Allen Logging in the Hoh River Valley area and businesses in downtown Forks, as well as the Quileute Reservation at LaPush.
Young, a resident of Gig Harbor, gave a brief campaign speech and then replied to questions from an audience of about two dozen local residents. Mayor Bryon Monohon was among those in attendance, along with Coucilman John Hillcar, who is a supporter of Young, and Councilman Kevin Hinchens.
The candidate’s life is a Horatio Alger tale. He was raised in Tacoma’s Hilltop District in poverty by a single mother, living sometimes homeless, but was able to become a scholar and graduated from Norte Dame University with degrees in information systems and management and works today as a business technology consultant.
A conservative Republican, Young is pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, supports tax reform and health care reform, but not President Obama's health care system.
Young pointed out his opposition to a the Wild Olympic legislation, a plan introduced in Congress by Dicks, which would designate more Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest lands as wilderness, taking some of the lands out of logging. "The proposal will hurt our economy and kill more jobs," a handout from Young states, which also claims the Wild Olympic plan "will not benefit our environment" and raise costs in the local economy, with many local leaders in opposition to the plan. Monohon has told the Forks City Council he is waiting to have the legislation analyzed by his staff before taking a stand on it.
The candidate faces three other Republican opponents in the upcoming Aug. 7 primary election including real estate executive Bill Driscoll, 49, who is a descendant of the founder of Weyerhaeuser, lawyer Doug Cloud, 55, Stephen Brodhead, 52, of Tacoma, David Eichner, 47, of Tacoma and Democrat candidate state Sen. Derek Kilmer, 39, who also lives in Gig Harbor, is vice-president of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. Kilmer grew up in Port Angeles and holds a doctorate degree from the University of Oxford in England.
The top vote-getting GOP candidate in the Aug. 7 primary election will likely be considered an underdog seeking to capture a long-held Democrat seat against Kilmer, who is the only of the primary candidates to hold elected office and the only Democrat who ran in the primary election.