8th District State Rep. Candidates Haler and Welch Face-off on the Issues - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

8th District State Rep. Candidates Haler and Welch Face-off on the Issues

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KNDU spoke to the candidates running for State Representative in the 8th district Position Two. Both Incumbent Larry Haler and his opponent Rob Welch came to our studios.
They are both former Mayors of Richland and were on the city council together. An interesting issue about their race is they are both Republican and because of the new Top 2 Primary voting system they can run against each other.

"I think our community is lacking a real strong community spirit, we don't have anyone in a leadership position that brings the community together when necessary and that's what we need. Whether it be going to Olympia and fighting for Areva and those 500 jobs, or whether it's fighting for the budget at Hanford," said Welch.

Richland's economy and job force strongly rely on the Hanford Budget.

"I'm willing to fly back to Washington D.C. to testify on behalf of Hanford issues and on behalf of this state and nuclear energy," said Haler.

Another budget issue is Washington State's projected billion dollar deficit.

"I think we've had irresponsible spending it's not to point a finger at any particular political party or person in a leadership role," said Welch.

Haler see's the Governor's reaction as outside the boundaries of her power.

"It wasn't the Governor's position to make those cuts. She should have called a special session of the House and the Senate to do those cuts, she could have called us together we probably would have been there until December," said Haler.

Although they agree on a lot of issues, these two do not see eye to eye personally, which makes this race very interesting.

"I've never been one to run away from a bully, my parents taught me at a young age if you see someone bullying another person you step in and you stop it," said Welch. 

"I hold no grudges. We need to move on. Whatever happened way back when on the Richland City Council, that's long gone, I've moved on," said Haler.

Wednesday, KNDU will be featuring both candidates running for State Representative in the 16th District, position one, Maureen walsh and Dante Lee Montoya.