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GOP hopeful announces bid for Springer’s 45th District seat
Political newcomer Jim Thatcher announced Wednesday his candidacy for 45th District state representative, Position 2, currently held by incumbent Rep. Larry Springer, D-Kirkland.
Thatcher is a Republican who lives in the Union Hill area near Redmond in unincorporated King County.
“I’m running to help bring a fresh team to our citizen legislature and greater accountability to state government,” said Thatcher in a press release. “Our legislators have been gridlocked into four special sessions over the last two years and their budget proposals have been more on gimmicks and wishful thinking than real reforms and long-term sustainability. As taxpayers we should demand better.”
Thatcher said he will bring his business acumen and proven leadership to the state representative position. He is currently a principal program manager at Microsoft and has worked in the computer industry as an attorney and software developer for more than 20 years.
In that role, he said he has spent a lot of time working with anti-trust regulators and industry-setting standard organizations to develop software standards worldwide.
“Working for Microsoft, we’re not always the most favored people working there,” he laughed during an interview with the Reporter, however, “I’ve worked to come to a consensus on issues around the world. I’ve helped to find solutions that work not only for my own employer, but for the industry as a whole.”
He added looking at problems from all angles is a skill he would bring to Olympia.
Thatcher’s priorities include:
• Real spending controls and budget reforms that meet our priorities without raising taxes.
“We’ve been spending money like we have as much coming in as we predicted years ago,” said Thatcher. “This legislature has been slow to recognize that revenue is tapering off. I’d like to bring some commonsense to that budgeting process.”
• Putting education first, rewarding quality teachers, encouraging parental involvement and providing accountable, innovative options to meet student needs.
As a father of seven children who have gone through the Lake Washington School District, Thatcher has experienced the public education system firsthand.
“We aren’t doing enough for our children in education,” he said. “We have reduced spending, but the state constitution says education is our paramount duty and if we’re not satisfying that, what are we spending our time and money on?”
He also noted that not all students want to go to college and the state “needs to do a better job of diversifying our education system so every child has the opportunity to do what they are interested in doing.”
• Encouraging jobs and business development by reducing and simplifying regulations, keeping workers compensation and unemployment insurance affordable, and encouraging private sector investment.
He said Washington has world-class companies and “we should expect our state leaders to be world-class as well, leaders who will be open and honest as they work together to solve tough problems.”
He added state representatives should not “saddle our kids with huge debts and unsolved messes.”
Thatcher said in general, he’s been “fairly comfortable” with Rep. Springer’s representation in the legislature. However, he is concerned about Springer’s Democrat leadership.
“I want to make sure that the 45th District is represented - not a political party.”
According to the Public Disclosure Commission, Thatcher has not yet raised any political contributions. Springer has raised more than $86,000.
Thatcher and his wife, Sarah, live in the Union Hill area. He has been active in his church and in community activities, including the Cub Scouts program and local soccer association.