Rick Winsman, a former Santa Clarita planning commissioner and SCV Chamber of Commerce president who moved to Washington state in 2005, was unsuccessful in his bid Tuesday to unseat two-term Washington State Senator Brian Hatfield.
Winsman, a Republican, lost by a margin of 62.51 percent to 37.49 percent in the solidly Democratic 19th District in southwestern Washington.
Winsman, 65, owned an engraving business when he lived in Santa Clarita and left town to take a job as president and CEO of the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce, across the border from Portland. He retired from that post late last year.
While at the Kelso Longview Chamber, he 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.
He continues to operate the Pegasus Group, a business consulting firm.
He said he wanted to run for office because politicians in Olympia, the state capitol, were “blocking the way with misplaced priorities, higher taxes and runaway spending.”
He faced an uphill battle trying to unseat Hatfield, a fourth-generation resident of the 19th District who served in the state house of representatives (the equivalent of California’s state assembly) for 10 years before ascending to the state senate in 2006.
In a message to supporters Wednesday, Winsman said he’s “confident that the future of Washington will be bright.”
“I’m still optimistic that our state will come back from the economic challenges that we have had to suffer through during the past four years,” Winsman said. “But it will take action, not just a plan, to help our state recover. And so, despite the outcome of this election, I pledge to you to continue to be your advocate in Olympia – working hard to lead Washington into a future we all can believe in.”
Winsman and his wife, Dee, have two children and six grandchildren.