Rick Winsman, chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce in 2002 and an SCVTV Newsmaker of the Week in 2005, has thrown his hat into the ring for the 19th Senate District in Washington state.
The 64-year-old Republican owned an engraving business while living in Santa Clarita and moved to Washington in 2005 to take a job as president and CEO of the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce, just across the border from Portland. He retired late last year.
Winsman will be challenging incumbent Democrat Brian Hatfield, who has served in Washington’s upper house since 2006 and in the lower house from 1994 to 2004.
“Things have to change in Olympia to get our families, friends and neighbors here back to work,” Winsman said in a statement to the (Lower Columbia) Daily News.
While running the Kelso Longview Chamber, Winsman championed bills that increased local authority over hotel bed taxes, and established a fee district to help a performing arts venue complete a $12 million renovation.
“During my time at the chamber, I got to know key community leaders and worked on a diverse array of major issues impacting our region. Because of that experience, I will hit the ground running,” Winsman told the local newspaper.
Winsman and his wife, Dee, have two children and six grandchildren.