Candidates Use Fair To Meet Voters - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Candidates Use Fair To Meet Voters

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KENNEWICK, Wash.- The Benton Franklin Fair is a summertime tradition in the Mid-Columbia and while most people go for the food or the rides some go to meet and greet with voters.

Candidates are taking questions from voters and giving them answers. They tell us their time at the fair's political booths gives them a chance to meet their constituents.

"Well I like to meet and greet with people just in general, but it's great to get out and be able to frankly see what's going on at the fair and get out in the district," said Representative Maureen Walsh of the 16th District.

While most fair goers make their way straight to the food vendors and the carnival rides many people take advantage of the political booths, where they can approach their local politicians with their questions and concerns.

"They're able to ask questions if they don't understand something and just converse basically. It's fun," explained Walsh.

And of course being the fair, you have to keep things fun. Instead of passing out buttons or flyers, Democrats let you take a picture with the president.

"It's really an outreach to get people to recognize that yeah there is a Democratic Party here," said Benton County Democrat Bob Parezin.

It's not just the Democrats and Republicans. The Tea Party also has their own booth thanks to about $700 dollars of local donations.

"We do this because we can reach the largest number of citizens and see if we can make a difference," said Les Storms of the Tri-Cities Tea Party.

Even though the parties have different political views, the representatives we spoke with all agreed that communication between parties is necessary for government to function.

"A lot of people comment that we've got the Republicans and the Democrats booth back to back here and, we like to think it's cause we can listen to each other," said Walsh.

"We've got to listen to everybody and take everybody's concerns into consideration," said Representative Larry Haler of the 8th District. "I think that's the best way to do legislation and it's the best way to run a government."

Many of your local representatives will be at the fair this weekend. They encourage you to come meet them and ask your questions and even pose some new ideas.

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