La Center public relations consultant Ann Rivers will join the growing group of candidates vying for the 18th Legislative District seat currently held by Rep. Jaime Herrera, R-Camas.
Herrera announced last week that she will seek the 3rd Congressional District seat presently held by U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, who will not seek re-election in 2010.
Rivers, a Republican, has been a resident of the 18th District, which includes portions of both Clark and Cowlitz counties, for more than 14 years. Having lived in both counties, she said, she knows the needs of the district’s residents.
“I’m still very passionate about changing the direction that we’re headed in,” she said. “Specifically in the 18th, we need to address our high unemployment rate. I’m seeing the pain out there. My main focus is going to be putting people back to work.”
Rivers said she would focus on economic development and on requiring state government to make sacrifices in order to live within its means. “It’s not just about cost-saving measures in government,” she said. “It’s about finding ways to allow the people to keep more money in their pockets.”
Her clients as a public relations consultant have included Storedahl, the Kelso-based gravel mining company, which wants to resume mining operations on the East Fork of the Lewis River; the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, which opposes siting a Cowlitz Tribe casino near La Center; and the Building Industry Association of Clark County. She lobbied for the Battle Ground School District in the 2009 Legislature.
Rivers, 43, was one of three finalists for appointment to a vacant 18th District seat in 2007.
Herrera was appointed to the seat in 2007 and won a full two-year term in 2008.
Meanwhile, Republican Brandon Vick, who lives in the Felida area, announced Tuesday that he too will seek the 18th District seat. Vick said last week that he was considering the race.
“It is obvious that the people of the 18th district are tired of how they are being treated by Olympia, and are hungry for a candidate that stands for the values of liberty, personal responsibility and common sense,” he said in a statement.
Vick, 25, works for his family’s landscaping business and has been involved in the Clark County Republican Party since the age of 18. He founded the Clark College Republicans and currently serves as the party’s 18th District director.
Other announced candidates for the seat are Democrat Dennis Kampe, founder of the Clark County Skills Center, and independent candidate Richard Carson, former director of the Clark County Department of Community Development.