Van De Wege announces bid for re-election

The job hasn't been easy but Kevin Van De Wege wants a third term as representative for the 24th District.

"It's been a tough job dealing with all the cuts but it's been a pleasure meeting people throughout the district and serving them," Van De Wege said.

During his four years in the House of Representatives, the Sequim Democrat has focused largely on job creation for working-class families, he said.

Last year he worked with Josh Renshaw to open Peninsula Plywood in Port Angeles, creating more than 100 family-wage jobs, he said.

Van De Wege said he stood up for Renshaw when Sterling Bank, which had foreclosed on the previous mill known as K-Ply, was ignoring him. The legislator also helped secure funding including a $1 million low-interest state loan and $250,000 for capital improvements at the mill, he said.

The focus on job creation is his central message, he said.

"I really feel that we need to continue improving conditions for working families on the Olympic Peninsula," he said, adding he wants to help end the recession on the peninsula.

The cuts made by the state as budget woes became a burden were difficult, and care had to be taken to ensure families and senior citizens still would be protected, he said.

"The state is in a financial crisis, and we've done a lot of cutting and streamlining and efficiencies in government services," he said.

"I'm very interested in continuing to work on that and make sure that Olympic Peninsula families are protected, that we're cutting the programs that are able to be cut, but at the same time making sure senior citizens are protected and our schools can still serve our children."

Van De Wege is running against Republican Dan Gase, a Port Angeles real estate broker.

Reach Amanda Winters at

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