Pete DeBoer offers a different approach

KINGSTON — Pete DeBoer thinks something is askew in Washington and he is setting out to fix it. The impetus for involvement that goes beyond his current slot on the Kingston Port Commission was Boeing’s decision to open a new aircraft assembly plant in North Charleston, S.C.

“Those are jobs leaving this state,” he said, explaining his decision to run against incumbent State Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo). “I thought I’d have a different approach.”

As a small business owner with an extensive background in government service—DeBoer sold Olympic Print Resources in August 2008 and served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 22 years—he said his experience in dealing with business issues and bureaucracy makes him an ideal candidate for the state assembly.

He believes his age, 64, is a bonus, too. He figures he has six to eight good years left to serve the public, which would prevent him from becoming something he’s opposed to: a career politician. For those who serve in local governments then move on to higher offices, that’s a bonus, he said. But politicians shouldn’t get “entrenched” in an office, he said.

A two-term port commissioner, his dealing with the state’s elected officials left him feeling high and dry.

“You’d prepare for one or two months for a five to 10 minute speech and the representatives were distracted and His would be the voice of reason on a number of issues, he said.

Jobs, he said, are the backbone of the economy: if people have good jobs, they’ll stimulate the economy through discretionary spending. If people don’t have jobs, the economy lies stagnant.

In addition, an educational system must be strong to ensure a skilled workforce, and there should be the realization that not every high school senior needs to go on to a four-year university, said DeBoer, who is a proponent of technical education.

For the working population in Kitsap County, some rely on the Washington State Ferry system to commute to and from work, he said. When the Spirit of Kingston, a foot ferry from Kingston to Seattle, sets sail in October, that will be a solid first step.

The ferry system, he said, should be treated on equal footing as the state highways.

“We don’t need to lay any more pavement,” DeBoer said.

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