Seniors focus of candidate forum

Vancouver event puts issues related to aging in spotlight

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

If you go

What: The Silver Tsunami Candidates’ Forum.

When:If you go

What: The Silver Tsunami Candidates’ Forum.

When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: Clark Public Utilities Community Room, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way.

Register: 360-735-5752 or michekd@dshs.wa.gov. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: Clark Public Utilities Community Room, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way.

Register: 360-735-5752 or michekd@dshs.wa.gov.

Washington's senior voters wield the most clout in state elections, and a candidate forum Tuesday, Oct. 2, will allow them to question 15 Southwest Washington legislative candidates on issues that affect them.

The Silver Tsunami Candidates' Forum on Washington's Aging Readiness from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. will quiz lawmaker hopefuls on their positions on state support for the Affordable Care Act, long-term care, elder abuse prevention programs and other topics affecting the state's 65 and older population.

The 60-and-older population will make up a quarter of Clark County's population by 2025, according to estimates.

"We want to help the candidates consider and understand what does this demographic change mean and how will it impact services," said Klaus Micheel, program planner at the Southwest Washington Agency on Aging and Disabilities.

The free event is coordinated by that agency and sponsored by AARP, Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the ElderCare Alliance and the Washington State Senior Citizens' Lobby.

The event also is an opportunity for candidates to woo senior voters, who can decide an election.

Nationwide, seniors are more likely to vote than the younger population. Washington tops the nation in the percentage of people 65 and older who vote; 77 percent vote compared with 52.8 percent of all citizens, according to a March 2012 U.S. News & World Report analysis of census numbers.

Space is limited to 125 people. To register, call 360-735-5752 or email michekd@dshs.wa.gov. Footage of the forum will be available after the event at CVTV.

As of Tuesday, the following candidates have indicated they will participate:

District 14

• Paul Spencer, Position 1 representative candidate, Democrat, Stevenson.

• Mathew K.M. Tomaskin, Position 2 representative candidate, Democrat, Wapato.

District 17

• Julie Olson, Position 1 representative candidate, Republican, Vancouver.

• Jim Gizzi, Position 2 representative candidate, Democrat, Vancouver.

District 18

• David Shehorn, Position 2 representative candidate, Democrat, Vancouver.

• Liz Pike, Position 2 representative candidate, Republican, Camas.

District 19

• Rick Winsman, senator candidate, Republican, Longview.

• Brian Hatfield, senator candidate, Democrat, Raymond.

• Dean Takko, Position 1 representative candidate, Democrat, Longview.

• Brian Blake, Position 2 representative candidate, Democrat, Longview.

District 20

• Ed Orcutt, Position 2 representative candidate, Republican, Kalama.

District 49

• Eileen Qutub, senate candidate, Republican, Vancouver.

• Annette Cleveland, senate candidate, Democrat, Vancouver.

• Carolyn Crain, Position 2 representative candidate, Republican, Vancouver.

• Jim Moeller, Position 2 representative candidate, Democrat, Vancouver.

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