State Rep. Skyler Rude has earned another two-year term in the House.
In his first term, Rude, R-Walla Walla, has shown himself to be a strong advocate for the people of the 16th Legislative District, while establishing himself as a lawmaker who can successfully bring Republicans and Democrats together in Olympia.
Rude started a bipartisan working group with Democrat Rep. Shelley Kloba of Kirkland in an effort to foster cross-party relationships. The group includes about an equal number of Republicans and Democrats who hold a wide range of ideological views, from very liberal to very conservative. His motivation was to provide lawmakers an opportunity to get to know each other as people, not simply by their political labels.
Rude is a moderate, right-of-center Republican who succeeds in the House because of his pragmatic approach to lawmaking. He looks at issues from all angles and with depth, always searching for unintended consequences. This thoughtful approach has, unfortunately, become too rare in today’s ideologically driven environment.
Rude’s challenger, Pasco Democrat Carly Coburn, is a self-proclaimed progressive. Her focus, if elected, is on promoting a universal health care system, housing affordability and tenant rights.
While Coburn has not held elective office, she has vast experience as a volunteer for nonprofits and political organizations.
Coburn is bright, energetic and she’s taken the time to study the issues. She is certainly capable of serving in the House.
But Rude’s experience and background, including time as chairman of the Walla Walla Republican Party and as an aide to then-Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-College Place, simply can’t be matched by Coburn.
In addition, Rude’s more centrist politics are a better fit for the conservative 16th District, which stretches from Dayton through Walla Walla and Pasco to Prosser.
Rude believes that the Legislature should have been called back into session this summer to deal the looming $9 billion revenue shortfall over the next three years. He would have also liked to have seen Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, work with the House and Senate — both controlled by Democrats — on establishing rules in dealing with the state response to COVID-19 pandemic. He believes the governor and the Legislature should work as partners.
Rude, as he said two years ago when first seeking this office, is a Republican because he believes in limited government and fiscal responsibility.
This is the approach he has taken in his first term, and it meshes very well with the views of his constituents.
However, to be clear, Rude makes an effort to represent each of the 137,000 or so people in his district whether Republican, Democrat or independent.
We strongly urge Rude be re-elected to the state House.