Mahaffay joins 23rd District fray

The race for 23rd District’s Position 1 seat became more crowded this week as Frank Mahaffay of East Bremerton became the third candidate and second Republican on the ballot.

The seat was held by Rep. Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge Island) until he announced he was running for the 23rd District Senate seat which is being vacated by Sen. Betti Sheldon (D-Bremerton) who is retiring from politics.

Mahaffay’s announcement puts him against fellow Republican Paulette DeGard of Kingston, who announced her decision to run in February.

Democrat Sherry Appleton of Poulsbo also is running.

“The people of our district understand that state government is going the wrong direction,” said Mahaffay, who is the president of the Kitsap County Association of Realtors. “Time and time again, the voters of our state have passed initiatives only to have the governor and state Legislature undo the will of the voters.”

He stated his priorities are revitalizing public schools, business recruitment, reducing traffic congestion, restoring funding for ferries, expanding the tax base through job growth, reforming the Growth Management Act and tort reform.

He also wants to see independent, mandatory audits of state agencies, something the Legislature has yet to get signed off by the governor.

“We’ve got to balance the checkbook and prioritize spending to what the people want,” he said. “I’ll work my tail off for every voter in the district to get them what they rightfully deserve.”

Mahaffay, who works as a Realtor at Windermere Real Estate/West Sound, Inc. in Silverdale, was involved in a successful campaign to get the county commissioners to repeal an increase on impact fees for new construction and was chairman of the Central Kitsap School District General Advisory Council.

This is the first time he’s run a political campaign, though he does have experience at dealing with legislators.

“I lobbied in Olympia four or five times this year” on behalf of the Realtors, Mahaffay said.

He originally thought about running for the Senate, but the 31-year old decided being in the House would be best for the 23rd District, stating “it’s time for the people to get what they want and be represented.”

He feels his young age is an asset in the race.

“A portion of my campaign will focus on the Generation X voters and getting them involved.”

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