Q&A 24th District House Pos. 1— Craig Durgan


No party preference, Port Ludlow

Age: 55

A 22-year resident of Jefferson County, a marine engineer and merchant seaman for more than 30 years. Graduated with honors from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., and earned a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Durgan gained enough write-in votes in the Aug. 7 primary election to qualify for the general election ballot. He ran unsuccessfully against Kevin Van De Wege as Republican in the 2010 primary election.

Reasons for running: “My interest lies in helping the residents of district 24, not the big money PACs (political action committees) along the I-5 corridor. These PACs do not always have the same interests as the residents of district 24 and may in fact oppose our interests. In my opinion the major issues facing us in the 24 district is jobs, economic development and property rights.”

With education funding critical in the next legislative session under court mandates, how do you propose the state deal with schools in the long run and what measures can be taken to comply with the court rulings that the state must “amply provide for the education of all Washington children as the first and highest priority before any other state programs or operations?”

The biggest problem is that the state has implemented many regulations on local districts. While the constitution says that the State is required to fully fund schools it does not state that the State has to fully regulate schools. I believe that the local districts can educate much better and allocate their funds better with out interference from the State.

Do you support the following measures on the general election ballot: Initiative 1185, which reinforces existing requirements that legislative actions raising taxes must be approved by two-thirds legislative majority or voter approval; Initiative 502 that would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution and possession; Initiative 1240 that would authorize up to 40 publicly funded charter schools; and Referendum 74 that would allow same-sex couples to marry?

1185, Yes; I502, No. We need a more verifiable way to determine intoxication.; I240, Yes; R74, I would support a referendum outlawing government influence in any aspect of marriage.

Unemployment continues to be higher in Southwest Washington than in other parts of Western Washington. Does the state have a role in addressing the problem and what can or should be done legislatively to help spur job growth in your districts?

We could start by getting the State out of the business of regulating land use. Land use regulation has been traditionally the domain of local government.

The Harbor in large part depends on the infrastructure that links its major transportation corridors, with our bridges and thoroughfares undergoing constant maintenance and concern. With major projects in the Puget Sound area currently under way, what can be done to fix some of the long-term infrastructure concerns in more rural counties like ours?

Our elected Legislature owes its allegiance to the PACs from the I-5 corridor. Severe restrictions on campaign donations from all PACs would help greatly in this area.

Grays Harbor County currently is involved in a lawsuit brought by its Superior Court Judges over what they believe is inadequate funding for judicial operations. Does the state have an obligation to better fund its courts and criminal justice system and what suggestions do you have for possibly solving this dilemma?

If the State was not interfering in local politics than we would have more money. The issue of money here is best settled by a vote of the people. Government needs to understand that it only operates by the consent of the people.