Republican candidate gives Probst a B- grade, Benton a B

When legislative candidates Julie Olson and Monica Stonier faced off in a meeting before The Columbian’s editorial board on Thursday, Olson, a Republican, nearly gave Democratic state Rep. Tim Probst as good a grade as Republican state Sen. Don Benton.

Probst and Benton, both of Vancouver, are running for the 17th Legislative District Senate seat now held by Benton. Olson and Stonier are running for a state House position in the same district.

The two were asked to give a grade to Benton and Probst based on how well they were doing their jobs as lawmakers.

Not surprisingly, Stonier, a Democrat, gave Probst an “A” and said that giving Benton a “C minus would be generous.”

Olson gave Probst a “B-” and then gave Benton a “B” — just half a grade higher.

Olson said lightheartedly that Benton would probably kill her for saying that. She then added that Benton has done great things for his district.

Stonier and Olson both complimented Probst for his accessibility to constituents. The candidates also shared their positions on the following political issues:

Allowing same-sex couples to marry

Olson: Against

Stonier: For

Allowing charter schools

Olson: For

Stonier: Against

Legalizing marijuana for people 21 and older

Olson: Against

Stonier: Against

Stonier described herself as a moderate Democrat. Olson described herself as fiscally conservative but more moderate when it comes to social issues.

Republican Matthew Homola is also in the race, but he did not attend the editorial board meeting.

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or or or

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