Chamber of Commerce endorses candidates in Renton City Council, hospital commission races
By DEAN RADFORD
Renton Reporter Editor
September 16, 2011 · 4:39 PM
In an unusual move, the Renton Chamber of Commerce has endorsed candidates in the three contested City Council races and the race for hospital commissioner.
The endorsements were made by the chamber Board of Directors after the chamber's Legislative Committee interviewed the candidates, except for council Position 4 candidate Sarah Sanoy-Wright, who did not respond to the chamber for an interview.
The candidate endorsements are:
• Mary Alice Heuschel – Public Hospital District No. 1 commission
• Greg Taylor – Renton City Council Position 4
• Ed Prince – Renton City Council Position 5
• Don Persson – Renton City Council Position 7
The chamber board also took a position on two statewide initiatives:
• Initiative 1125, state spending on transportation – No, because passage would threaten improvements to Interstate 405, the I-405 interchange and State Route 167, according to the chamber.
• Initiative 1183, privatization of liquor sales – Yes, because it takes Washington state out of the retail business and provides income opportunities to private enterprise, according to the chamber.
"It's very unusual for us to do this," Bill Taylor, the chamber president and CEO, said of endorsing local candidates.
But Taylor pointed to a continuing weak economy and the "passionate issues" that are being debated locally as reasons to endorse candidates and statewide initiatives that are beneficial to chamber members and the Renton business community.
"We think candidates need to have a balanced approach to the issues," he said.
The chamber typically has between 575 and 650 members, he said.Contact Renton Reporter Editor Dean Radford at email@example.com or 1-425-255-3484 (ext 5050).