Another candidate has stepped forward to run for the legislative seat now held by state Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver.
Hazel Dell resident Lisa Ross, a Republican, announced this week that she'll seek the second House position in the 49th Legislative District.
"I was not planning on announcing my candidacy this early," said Ross, 47. "My leadership team and I want to be fair to the voters, however, especially the Republican voters. They need to know that they have a choice. I am happy to be that choice."
Republican Carolyn Crain announced earlier this month that she'll also seek Moeller's seat in the 49th District this year. Crain unsuccessfully ran for the position in 2012.
Moeller, 58, has been elected six consecutive times in the Democratic-leaning 49th District. He serves as House speaker pro tempore. Moeller has indicated he'll run for re-election again this year.
Ross, a certified public accountant, said that taxes, jobs and education were among her top interests. During an unsuccessful run for a seat on the Vancouver Public Schools board last year, Ross opposed the Common Core standards now being implemented in Washington schools. "I want students to be able to excel," she said.
Ross opposes the Columbia River Crossing project, and light rail planned as part of the proposed Interstate 5 Bridge replacement. Though Washington has pulled out of the CRC, Oregon legislators are still mulling an Oregon-led version of the project before their session convenes next month.
A possible transportation revenue package has generated much discussion in Olympia since last year. Ross said she is against the current concept, which would be funded largely by an increase in fuel taxes, citing too much cost and too little benefit to Southwest Washington.
Ross said she decided to run for Moeller's seat because she believes the area needs different representation. Ross called herself a "professional problem solver."
"I want to get Vancouver back on a positive track," she said.
Ross' entry into the 49th District race means at least three candidates will likely vie for the seat — and at least one will be knocked out in the August primary. The top two finishers would advance to the general election in November.
In 2012, only Moeller and Crain ran in the primary, so both advanced to the general election, where Moeller prevailed.
Ross lives in Hazel Dell with her husband. They have two daughters. She said she plans to run a positive campaign, and made her intentions clear:
"I am running to win," she said.