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Benze announces candidacy for 35th District seat

Robert Benze announced last week he’s running for the House 35th District Position 2 seat this fall.

Benze, who worked for the Navy at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for 28 years in the nuclear engineering department as a nuclear and environmental engineer, was involved with the Legislature in 1991 and 1992 as a Senate appointee to the DSHS Child Welfare Citizen Advisory Board.

“Throughout that experience, I was able to serve as a voice for Washington State’s most vulnerable citizens, its children,” Benze said. “I was able to utilize my leadership abilities to advocate for much needed change.”

Benze is the first Republican to declare his intent to run against three-term Democrat incumbent William Eickmeyer of Belfair.

“As your next state representative, I plan to represent the interests of the people of the 35th District. I intend to tackle the issues that are foremost on our citizens’ minds, while making the difficult decisions necessary to get our state back on track,” Benze said.

He stated his priorities are to improve the state’s business climate, stabilizing taxes and enacting health insurance reform.

Benze has over three decades of experience in supervisory and management positions, both inside and outside government. He has organized and led numerous Navy projects over the years while working with groups such as the Environmental Protection Agency. He was awarded the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award — the highest honor for civilians — for his engineering work throughout the years.

“I would bring a strong management and technical background to Olympia, and have a history of working towards establishing consensus on difficult issues,” Benze said.

Benze lives in Silverdale with his wife Joan. They have five children and five grandchildren.

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