17th District candidates far apart on key issues

first_imgMiddle-school teacher Monica Stonier and businessman Paul Harris have at least one thing in common: The Evergreen school district.Paul HarrisRepublicano Age: 57.o Occupation: Businessman.o Campaign finance: Raised $44,855, spent $18,119, debt $9,400.o Campaign website: www.electharris.com.o Quote: “We need new leadership with no obligations to special interest groups.”Monica StonierDemocrato Age: 34.o Occupation: Middle school teacher.o Campaign finance: Raised $58,909, spent $33,888, independent support $4,385.o Campaign website: www.electmonicastonier.com.o Quote: “Any teacher who is ineffective and not willing to change their practices to meet student needs should not be in the classroom.”But when it comes to their views on school funding, teacher compensation and state spending, they’re worlds apart.Both are seeking the open seat held by state Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver, who is leaving the Legislature when her term expires in January. Her departure created an open seat in the 17th, a swing district that covers Vancouver east of Interstate 205 and south of 119th Street.Harris, a Republican, served as a member of the Evergreen School Board. He ran unsuccessfully in the 17th in 2004, against former Rep. Jim Dunn, a Republican, and in 2006 against Wallace, who spent nearly $300,000 to defeat him. In January, he dropped out of the contest for appointment to a vacancy on the Vancouver City Council and threw his hat into the legislative ring, saying, “I feel my commitment to the community will be better served at the state level.” A 30-year resident of the 17th District, he owned his own paint company and later worked for a Tacoma-based paint company, but lost that job in a recent downsizing. He has started a new business as a medical supply distributor.Stonier, a Democrat, is a language arts and social studies teacher and teaching coach at Pacific Middle School in the Evergreen district. She represented Clark County as a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. This is her first run for public office. Wallace endorsed her early in the race.last_img

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