Campaigns for 2008 start early

Patricia Terry -
Patricia Terry
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Sen. Haugen, Rep. Bailey in the running

The 2008 race for a job in the state capital has kicked off early.

Patricia Terry, a Democrat from Camano Island, filed as a candidate for the state House of Representatives earlier this month. She wants to unseat Republican Chris Strow for Position 1 in District 10.

State Rep. Barbara Bailey, a Republican from Oak Harbor, has also filed as a candidate for next year’s election. She registered on May 21 and will run for another term representing District 10, Position 2.

Last fall, Bailey beat Democrat Tim Knue by a narrow margin.

The early filing indicates that candidates want to maximize their time for campaigning and fundraising.

Terry is a relative newcomer to Washington politics, at least as a candidate.

Even though this is her first run for office, it has been in the making for a few years.

Terry, a registered nurse, went back to college when she realized she wanted to run for office. That was more than four years ago.

“My interest to run for office peaked after I moved back to Seattle in 2003,” Terry said. “I went back to school. I was 49 years old at the time.”

Terry earned a master’s degree in public administration at the Institute of Public Service at Seattle University in 2005.

The training provided her with a deeper understanding of how the system worked, how policies are developed and implemented and how to get things done.

“During my training we met a number of legislators,” Terry recalled. “I was delighted to find they were regular people passionate about what they’re doing.”

Terry also said her nursing career had given her opportunities to advocate for vulnerable populations, the very young and the very old and those for whom healthcare had become unaffordable.

With a career spanning more than 30 years in healthcare, it’s not a surprise that the topic will be a top priority if she is elected.

“It will be a focal point in the campaign,” she said. “I am grateful that the Legislature has brought healthcare to 38,000 more children. But I am worried about the parents, too.”

“I am a true Democrat. I believe healthcare isn’t just a privilege,” Terry said.

Other priorities are conservation and growth-management issues.

“We have to help our farmers to protect their livelihood,” she said.

Terry has extensive experience working with government on health and quality issues. She has worked for two federally designated quality improvement organizations, and was a regional manager on a quality oversight contract with the Department of Defense. From 2004 through 2006, Terry served as a board member of the Washington State Association for Healthcare Quality and was the organization’s president in 2005.

In 2007, the Island County Board of Health appointed her to a three-year term with the Community Health Advisory Board.

Terry said she has begun to contact leaders throughout the county to learn more about their needs and wants.

“I am listening to community leaders. I want to know what makes them wake up at night,” she said.

Strow has not filed for candidacy yet. He could not be reached Monday because he was attending a function in Eastern Washington.

During last year’s election, he ran unopposed until Democrat Grethe Cammermeyer popped up as a write-in candidate.

Strow won the election with 89 percent of votes, while Cammermeyer got an impressive 2,368 votes.

Strow was later elected to the position of assistant floor Leader by the Republican party.

State Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen has also filed as a candidate in the 10th District. She registered as a candidate on Dec. 12.

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