Because I’ve lived most of my life in Washington state, I’ve had the opportunity to watch elected leaders in Spokane, Seattle, Tri-Cities and Walla Walla, where I lived for 10 years before moving back to Spokane for personal reasons earlier this year.

I have never encountered in any of those cities a candidate for public office better prepared, with a wider background of experience, than Frances Chvatal.

After growing up on a working farm in Touchet, Frances graduated from nursing school at WSU and spent nearly 10 years in front-line, hands-on patient care. At Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, she worked in nursing and management positions, supervising up to 120 nurses and other clinical staff. In those positions, she managed operational and payroll budgets and worked with doctors, architects and construction managers to build new and remodeled healthcare facilities.

Like all nurses, Frances needed to communicate effectively with doctors, other professional staff, and patients from all walks of life ­— patients who were invariably struggling with serious, possibly life-threatening conditions.

These are the communications skills she will bring to Olympia to build bridges among diverse legislators from throughout our state as they work together to address problems in health-care, education, criminal justice, finance, and family issues of all sorts.

We are struggling to respond to a global pandemic, with a disastrous impact on our economy, the subsequent loss of revenue to support vitally needed public services, and long-overdue demands for changes in our criminal justice system.

Our elected leaders will need the broadest range of skills and backgrounds to navigate these crises.

I know Frances will be a strong leader and will make us proud to have her serve as our representative in the state House Olympia.

Bart Preecs