Benton to seek re-election to Senate

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

Published:

 
photoSen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver

State Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, made the official announcement Friday that he will seek re-election for his 17th District seat.

Benton said he is seeking re-election so he can continue to work toward fiscal reform.

“This last session saw a major shift in Olympia, with a small number of Democrats joining with Republicans to adopt long overdue reforms,” Benton said in the announcement. “I’m running for re-election to the state Senate to ensure we can complete the work of resetting our state government to sustainable levels, which is vital to ensuring funding for schools, colleges and public safety.”

In his announcement, Benton also touted his participation in the 2012 state budget debate. He was the one who made the motion for an uncommon procedural maneuver that threw a wrench in the Democrats’ budget plan.

On the afternoon of March 2, minority Senate Republicans gained support from three philosophically conservative Senate Democrats and used that procedural move to pass their own budget. This led to 31 special session days of negotiations on a compromise budget.

Benton was first elected to the Senate in 1996. Prior to that, he served for two years in the state’s House of Representatives.

Benton is the ranking Republican member on the Senate’s Financial Institutions, Housing and Insurance Committee. He also serves on the Senate’s Government Operations, Tribal Relations and Elections Committee, and he is the Washington state chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Benton earned a bachelor’s degree in management and communication at Concordia University. He is founder and CEO of the Benton Group, a marketing consultant company.

Also in the race for Benton’s seat is state Rep. Tim Probst, D-Vancouver. The deadline for candidates to file is May 18.

Stevie Mathieu: http://www.facebook.com/reportermathieu or http://www.twitter.com/col_politics, 360-735-4523 or stevie.mathieu@columbian.com.