Race Continues for State Representative in 16th District Position One. - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Race Continues for State Representative in 16th District Position One.

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WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Democrat Dante Montoya is running against incumbent Republican Maureen Walsh for State Representative in the 16th District Position 1.  

Montoya is a Certified Public Accountant and says he has 31 years of business experience. 

Walsh, the incumbent, worked as a Legislative Assistant for 12 years before becoming a State Representative and is now running for her 3rd term in office.  She also owns a restaurant called Onion World in downtown Walla Walla. 

Both candidates feel the economy is the biggest problem facing the state and feel cutting back is the way to fix it.

"We're going to have to tighten our belts considerably.  We have done some wonderful things over the last 4 to 8 years in the legislature, but unfortunately we've overspent, " said Walsh. 

"We have to be good stewards with the funds that we have and we have to cut the budget and cut positions in Olympia, " said Montoya.

When asked what tops the list of things the candidates most want to change, Montoya said he would focus more on transportation.  "Wouldn't it be better for all of us if we have more highway systems on 12 and proper off-ramps, " said Montoya.

Walsh feels early childhood education needs improvement.  "If we empower parents to read to their children everyday before kindergarten and get them into child care venues, we are finding that it's paying off tremendously," said Walsh. 

While the primary election numbers show Walsh in the lead, both candidates feel each party needs to be represented.