Using the slogan “building bridges across the aisle and across the river,” Sam Kim has announced he will run as a Republican for the 17th Legislative District House seat being vacated by Rep. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver.
“We have got to break this deadlock and get the bridges built,” Kim told a room full of Republicans while making his pitch. “What’s taking so long?”
Kim currently works as Clark County’s chief information officer and has decades of experience working in the information technology industry. He also served for 16 years on the Battle Ground school board.
“At the end of the day, we need to make sure Clark County is respected and we are taken seriously,” Kim said. “So much has happened with the CRC (Columbia River Crossing), the transportation bill, what’s happened at the county, what’s happened with the Republican Party. … It’s time to rebuild trust and relationships.”
Kim said he’s also motivated to ensure the seat stays in Republican hands.
At a time when the state’s top court has held the Legislature in contempt for not fully funding education, Kim said his experience on the school board would be beneficial in the legislature.
While serving on the school board, Kim said, the district’s graduation rates improved. When he first started on the board, there was a lot of acrimony and strife with the teacher’s union, he said.
“We made a decision — never again — and that we’re united under the single vision of student achievement,” Kim said.
Kim also worked at Hewlett-Packard Co. for two decades.
If elected, Kim said he would ensure citizens retain the right to bear arms, support efforts to protect against identify theft and cyber threats, and make it easier for businesses to thrive in Clark County and the state.
Kim joins a field that already includes Republicans Jerry Oliver and Vicki Kraft. Oliver is retired and serves as a Vancouver port commissioner. Kraft currently works for the Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit think tank that promotes individual liberty, free enterprise and limited government.
Wilson is leaving the House to run for Sen. Don Benton’s seat. The longtime Republican senator from Vancouver is not seeking re-election.