Commissioners quiz Pike before Rivers’ Senate appointment
Liz Pike was determined to make the most of an unwanted nomination on Monday, when Clark and Cowlitz county commissioners appointed former state Rep. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, to the Senate. Commissioners decided to take advantage of the situation as well.
Pike was one of three Republicans nominated for the Senate appointment to replace former Sen. Joseph Zarelli, but she and fellow nominee, precinct officer Cindy Johnson, made it clear they didn’t want the job.
“I’m fully supportive of Ann Rivers’ appointment but I’m not going to miss this opportunity to promote my 18th District state legislative race,” she told commissioners on Monday afternoon, immediately embarking on a description of her campaign and also providing her elevator speech.
She told commissioners that she wants to reform education, repeal certain Department of Ecology rules, and privatize industrial insurance.
“So,” she concluded, “you probably don’t have any questions for me…” She appeared ready to leave her seat before the commissioners when Clark County Commissioner Marc Boldt chimed in.
“Actually,” Boldt told Pike, “we were discussing this and the problem is when you’re in Olympia, you’re on the inside of the door and were on the outside. So this is the only time we’re on the inside and you’re on the outside, so we’re probably going to ask you a few questions, OK? It’s our only shot, so we’re going to take advantage of it.”
Commissioners then took the opportunity to ask Pike several questions, including:
Q: What would your role be in the Columbia River Crossing project?
Pike: “It needs to be replaced at some point. Some experts say it still has a 50 year lifespan on it. I’m not convinced that we need to remove it today. I would prefer a third-bridge alternative. … I would like strict legislative oversight over that project in all aspects.”
Q: What do you see as the role of county government in the state?
Pike: “Understanding that you have to follow the law set forth by the Legislature, my door will always be open. … Whatever changes can me made that can help business and enterprise in Clark County, I’m going to be all for that.”
Q: What are the three House committees you’re interested in?
Pike: Transportation, Education, and Ways and Means.
Q: Do you have a position on allowing coal export trains to travel through the state?
Pike: “Provided that the environmental impacts can be mitigated and not harm our cities that border our tracks, I’m completely in favor of exporting coal.”
Q: How would you show bipartisanship in the Legislature?
Pike: “I have associates and friends from all walks of political life. Two of them have contributed to my campaign. I think that particular aspect of me is going to help me when I go to Olympia. Make no mistake, I’m not going to compromise on my core principles.”
Pike emailed me on July 5 to say she’s revised her wish list of which committees she’d like to serve on if elected. The new list is: 1.) Agriculture and Natural Resources, 2.) Labor and Work Force Development, and 3.) Ways and Means.