Local candidate Rae Lowery bursts into song during debate

Candidate Rae Lowery, running for the 20th District Senate seat, decided to take a different approach to the run-of-the-mill introductory statement during a recent debate hosted by the Thurston County League of Women Voters.

She sang.

Watch the video here (the singing starts at 3:15): link text

Lowery used up nearly all her allotted time singing the third stanza of “America the Beautiful.” After she finished, she said – somewhat emotionally – that she was a patriot before a Republican, an Independent or a Democrat.

But Lowery, surprised, had to cut her opening speech short when Allyson Brooks, the debate’s moderator, signaled her time was up. Brooks complimented Lowery’s singing voice and moved on to questions.

Candidate Lowery, a Republican, is an employment specialist from La Center. She also writes children’s books in her spare time. Her opponent during the debate, Sen. Dan Swecker, R-Rochester, has served as state senator since 1995. Candidate John Braun, a Republican from Centralia, was not present at the debate because he was attending his daughter’s high school graduation. Braun is the president of Braun Northwest, a company that manufactures emergency vehicles.

In the debate, Lowery agreed with Swecker on various issues. They agreed that taxes should not be raised and that K-12 and higher education should be funding priorities. Lowery said she would like to look into cutting all funding to university athletics to free up more money for academics.

On the subject of Washington jobs, Lowery said she wants to implement a program similar to college work study. In this program, those relying on welfare would have the choice to up their allotment from the state by matching their skills and interests to various jobs.

Swecker said future jobs lie in the private sector. Red tape is preventing growth, and regulatory reform is needed, he said. Swecker said he has the experience to carry out these reforms and increase jobs in Washington.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the local races as Election Day approaches.

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