Ballots for the primary elections will be hitting our mailboxes this week, and Debra Lekanoff will get my vote for the 40th District.
Debra is whip-smart and is committed to the environment; she’s particularly an expert on salmon runs and what it takes to keep them healthy. She identifies deeply with the Salish Sea, helped the Swinomish Tribe in its contributions to stop the Cherry Point coal terminal, and has served as an adviser to the EPA and Region 10 administrators in the previous three presidential administrations on climate change policy, water regulations and laws, and transboundary environmental permitting to vessel traffic.
As a mother of a teenager and architect of a successful school levy campaign for La Conner, she has the experience and commitment to work with legislators to address issues that our rural schools face. Speaking as a school board director, this is particularly important right now as our own Lopez School navigates the challenging budget situation on the horizon in the wake of the McCleary decision that helped raise some teacher salaries but hamstrings our district’s ability to raise enough funds for core necessities like utilities, special education, a nurse, sports, drama and healthy food.
Debra has strong connections with key leaders at the county, state, federal and tribal government levels through her 21 years of experience as a government servant.
She has years of experience working with, and has won the endorsement of, Kris Lytton, the retiring Representative of our 40th District. And ditto for 10 other Washington State Representatives as well, Stephens and Hughes from our own San Juan County Council.
She has great federal connections, as evidenced by her endorsements by both Obama’s Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. She will hit the ground running and be able to get the right people in the room to get things done.