The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce invited 25 primary candidates from senate, congressional and legislative races to their July 12 luncheon to allow the audience to ask questions of the people running for office.
Candidates in attendance for the 8th Congressional District were Shannon Hader, Jack Hughes-Hageman, Jason Rittereiser, Patrick Dillon, Kim Schrier and Bill Grassie. Candidates for U.S. Senate included Clint R. Tannehill, Dave Strider, Steve Hoffman, Matthew D. Heines, Art Coday, GoodSpaceGuy, Alex Tsimerman, Don L. Rivers, James Robert Deal and Keith Swank. Senate candidate John Orlinski was invited, but did not attend.
The legislative candidates for District 5, Bill Ramos and Chad Magendanz for position 1 as well as Paul Graves and Lisa Callan for position 2, attended the event. For legislative District 41 position 1, Tim Cruickshank and Nathaniel Deily were at the event. The position 2 candidates, Wendy Weiker, My-Linh Thai and Michael Appleby, were also in attendance.
The luncheon, held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Issaquah, was a way for the primary candidates to let the audience know their feelings on a variety of audience-submitted topics. Questions along several topics were asked, including education funding, a carbon tax, gun legislation, a border wall, growth and affordable housing, social security, small business and more.
Because there were so many candidates, instead of having each of them speak to the topics, they were given four cards with emoji icons that would be held up as the questions were asked as statements the candidates could react to. The four cards symbolized that candidates agreed or disagreed with the statements or that they strongly agreed or disagreed.
After the questions had been asked, each of the candidates was allowed a one-minute pitch as to why the audience should vote for them.
King County’s primary election ballots will begin being mailed on July 18, with a deadline of Aug. 7.
The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce also plans to hold two more candidate forums after the primary elections are decided. The first event, for legislative District 5 candidates, will be held on Sept. 19 at Blakely Hall in Issaquah. The second forum will be held on Oct. 2, also at Blakely Hall, and will feature the candidates running for Congress in the 8th District.