By Nina Milligan, Highlands Council, Communications Manager, Candidate Forum Producer
Well over a hundred people filled Blakely Hall in Issaquah Highlands to hear from leading primary candidates for the 8th US Congressional District. As the attendee quotes (sidebar) indicate, the event helped people get to know the candidates and to make a decision on their primary ballot.
It was ninety degrees outside, but all were “cool” in Blakely Hall as the candidates presented their views. Even though the topics were controversial, Issaquah Highlands resident Nate Perea moderated the Q&A with grace and strength. Candidates had a full two minutes to answer each question, a time allowance they all used to its fullest; each topic was covered in depth and detail.
Moderator Perea is known region-wide for this public speaking and civic expertise. He started this forum with a map of the district, which runs surprisingly far and wide. Then he reviewed the history of the last several elections in the 8th Congressional District, demonstrating why this race is important not only to constituents, but also to the partisan tally of the US House of Representatives.
All 8th District candidates who lead in endorsements in the primary election were invited. However, only three attended, all three “preferring the Democratic Party”. They were Dr. Shannon Hader, Jason Rittereiser, and Dr. Kim Schrier.
Questions for the candidates came from the community through an online survey. The topics included Health Care, Immigration, Gun Violence, Leadership and Governing Style.
To view a recording of the forum online, please see below.
Highlands Council produces the Candidate Forums at Blakely Hall series and would like to thank everyone for coming out to this important event. And thank you Issaquah Sammamish Reporter, for providing media coverage, and its publisher, Bill Shaw. Bill is a long time Issaquah resident and supporter of civic events such as these. Thanks are also due to our resident, volunteer videographer, Quinn Ryan and volunteer sound engineer, Aaron Mapleback of Summit Life Church.
Special thanks to Nate Perea for volunteering to moderate this year’s forums (as he did last year) which entails months of planning and preparation. Thanks also to Renee Zimmerman, also a Highlands resident, for her expertise and assistance throughout the process, in making this valuable event the best it could be.
When I got here tonight, I pretty much knew who I was going to vote for. I left knowing I’m voting for someone else! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to learn what I needed to know to make an informed decision.
I am so glad I did not vote yet! I learned so much tonight and changed my mind who to vote for! Thanks for the great forum!
I thought I knew who I was going to vote for, but after listening to the candidates, I think I’ll have to spend a little more time making this decision. Thank you for this!
Primary ballots are due in the box by Tuesday, August 7, 2018