Candidates for 15th District State Representative Focus on Gangs and Economy - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Candidates for 15th District State Representative Focus on Gangs and Economy

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YAKIMA, Wash.- Republican incumbent Dan Newhouse and Democratic challenger Tao Berman agree that gang activity is a problem in the 15th District. Newhouse says he'll continue to work with active community members.

"They want more tools available to them to fight the ever growing gang issue," said Newhouse.

Berman says gang activity is an issue that stems from other community concerns.

"A lot of these people don't have the opportunity to get a good paying job and if you don't have something positive in your life, its pretty easy to make poor decisions," said Berman.

Berman says attracting more businesses to the area and providing more job opportunities could reduce gang involvement and economic instability. Newhouse says one of his main goals is to make life a little easier for working families.

"This is not the time to raise taxes to fix the budget mess we have in Olympia," said Newhouse.

Instead he says its time to re-evaluate the state's budget. Berman is also re-evaluating, he says school standards need to improve.

"Our kids are falling further and further behind in fact they're at the bottom of the list, so we have to recognize that what we're currently doing is not enough," said Berman.

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