Walla Walla County residents receive back $1.50 in expenditures from the state of Washington for every dollar we pay in taxes (Office of Financial Management, state expenditures and revenue by county).

We may not like the state government and the officials who run it, but the state budget and decisions about it are vital to our local economy. This will be even more true with the looming deficit in tax revenues for both state and local government forcing painful decisions and potential cuts in services.

For this reason, this year Walla Walla voters should consider voting for candidates of the majority party in the Legislature (fourth letter of the alphabet) even if you haven’t ever done this before and the very thought of doing so galls you.

It’s no time to send people to the state Legislature you know will be in the political wilderness even more than usual.

Republican legislators in the minority are not totally powerless, but members of the majority party have a distinct advantage in crafting policies that benefit their districts, especially in tough times.

Frances Chvatal is running for the state House of Representatives, Position 1 in the 16th Legislative District. She grew up on an irrigated farm near Touchet. Frances has been a nurse for over 30 years, both in direct patient care and as an administrator for 22 years at Providence Hospital in Walla Walla.

Even if, as we all hope, there is a vaccine by this year or early next year, the fiscal and health care mess we are in isn’t going to go away. Why not send a health care expert to Olympia

Danielle Garbe Reser is running for the state Senate in Legislative District 16. Danielle started working for the U.S. State Department the day before 9/11 and worked as a diplomat in hardship posts overseas and in the White House under Republican and Democratic administrations.

She returned to Walla Walla and served as the CEO of the Sherwood Trust for four years, helping to distribute millions in grants to community organizations in Walla Walla.

Wouldn’t it be useful to have someone in Olympia who knows how the federal government works and is also skilled at finding funding sources?

Please consider voting for these two highly worthy candidates.

Richard Fogarty

Walla Walla