The Daily News: Bryant says he can run state better than Gov. Inslee

Bill Byant's latest coverage in the Longview Daily News.

 

Washington Residents "just want a government that gives a damn":

Bill Bryant hopes to ride what he says is discontent with Gov. Jay Inslee to become Washington’s first Republican governor elected in 36 years.

“There is a sense that the state is not being well-run and he’s not engaged,” Bryant said of Inslee, who is seeking a second four-year term. “If it’s not climate change, he doesn’t care.”

During an interview at The Daily News on Wednesday, Bryant accused Inslee of deliberately delaying the permitting process for the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export dock in Longview.

“He’s making it so difficult that they’ll just give up,” Bryant said.

Washington residents “just want a government that gives a damn, and they don’t think it does,” he said. “They just want stuff to get done.”

Bill and his wife Barbara have deep roots on Southwest Washington:

Bryant, 54, has Southwest Washington roots. He was born in Morton and grew up in the Olympia area. His wife, Barbara Feasey, is a 1976 graduate of Mark Morris High School in Longview. Her mother, Carolyn Feasey Kirkpatrick, ran for 19th District state senator as a Republican in 1990.

More about Bill’s experience and background:

Bryant studied trade and diplomacy at Georgetown University. After college he worked on trade issues for Governors John Spellman and Booth Gardner. (Spellman, elected in 1980, was the last GOP governor elected in Washington.) In 1985 Bryant moved to Yakima and formed a company that helps farmers find new markets. In 1992, he moved to Seattle and continued his work in international trade.

Bryant was first elected to the King County/Seattle port commission in 2007. He said his work on that commission has given him statewide exposure, if not fame.

The work sends him to Eastern Washington, and “my (port commission) district has one-third of the registered voters in the state,” he said.

If elected Bill will set new priorities for transportation, budgets, and fully fund education without raising taxes:

...Bryant has plenty of ideas of what he do his if elected. He said on his first day in office he would demand a new set of priorities in the Department of Transportation. He said the DOT doesn’t place enough emphasis on moving freight via trucks and alleviating traffic jams. For one thing, he doesn’t like the project underway to convert two lanes of the I-90 bridge across Lake Washington to light rail.

“We should have I-90 being a corridor between Chicago and the Port of Seattle,” he said. With its mass transit focus, the DOT “has ceased being an agency focused on construction,” Bryant said.

Bryant wants to “rebuild the (state) budget from zero” and put a moratorium on all new state regulations until state agencies can justify the ones they already have.

He wants to restructure the high school curriculum to create more opportunities for vocational training, rather than focusing on college preparation for all students. “I want to reinvent the last two years of high school so it’s relevant to what they’ll be doing later,” he said. “If people don’t want to go to college, that’s fine.”

Bryant said the state can provide full funding for schools, as directed by the Supreme Court in its McCleary ruling, without raising taxes. He does favor a system of school levy equalization, so that smaller and rural districts don’t have to pay much higher levy rates than those in urban areas.

Several studies have called Washington’s tax structure unfair, and called for the imposition of an income tax and reduction in other taxes. However, Bryant said, “there is zero tolerance for any new taxes. People have so little regard for government that they look at tax reform as a Trojan horse to raise taxes.”

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Mike Foster