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Meet Suzan DelBene: Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, District 1

The former Microsoft executive is vying against Snohomish County Congressman John Koster for Rep. Jay Inslee's seat in Congress.

Editor's note: Patch has submitted questionnaires to both candidates in the 1st Congressional District, and plans to post the responses verbatim as we receive them.

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NAME: Suzan DelBene

OFFICE SOUGHT: U.S. House of Representatives – WA01

PARTY AFFILIATION: Democrat

TOWN OF RESIDENCE: Medina

CURRENT OCCUPATION: Candidate for Congress

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND:Director, Washington State Department of Revenue; Corporate Vice President, Mobile Communications, Microsoft; CEO and President, Nimble Technology; Vice President, Marketing/Store Development, drugstore.com

WEBSITE: www.delbeneforcongress.com

WHAT IS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE FACING VOTERS IN YOUR DISTRICT?

I believe the top priority of the citizens of the 1st Congressional District is creating jobs and strengthening our economy. I know firsthand what it is like to struggle financially and that a job is not only a source of economic stability but also a source of personal pride. I believe that government can create a foundation for economic opportunity for all. In Congress, I will work for policies that increase research and development investments in new, emerging industries. Instead of tax breaks for companies that ship their jobs overseas, I will fight for incentives that encourage businesses to expand their domestic manufacturing footprint.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS IN OFFICE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE? If Congress doesn’t act by the end of the year, our nation will face afiscal cliff that will result in draconian cuts to services and programs important to working families. To solve the looming crisis, it’s time to get past the hyper-partisanship in Congress that has caused this gridlock.

When I talk to voters in the 1st District, they are tired of the polarization and empty rhetoric in Washington, DC. As a result, Congress appears broken and seems incapable of addressing the issues that are at the forefront of working families’ concerns, like revitalizing the economy, creating jobs and reducing the deficit. If elected, I will work to find solutions to problems to the looming fiscal crisis in ways that help working families, not special interests.

Transportation infrastructure is also crucial to the economy of the 1st CD. Our roads are in disrepair. We need to invest in safety improvements on our bridges and in renovations along I-405 and improved transit connections. Moving forward on transportation improvements that efficiently move people and goods will improve connections to our ports, support trade, help connect people to their jobs and spur economic growth.

Finally, I believe we must create a foundation for economic opportunity for all, including making sure all Americans have access to a great education and quality, affordable health care. And my experienceas head of the state Department of Revenue has taught me that by reforming and simplifying the tax code we can increase fairness and boost the economy.

DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE REFERENDUM 74: SHOULD GAY MARRIAGE BE LEGAL IN WASHINGTON? BRIEFLY, WHY? Every one of us has equal rights under the law. It's that simple. I support repealing the federal Defense of Marriage Act. I support same-sex marriage, and I will be voting ‘YES’ on R-74.

DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE, INITIATIVE 502 TO MAKE SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIJUANA LEGAL TO PEOPLE 21 AND OLDER? BRIEFLY, WHY? I support efforts to reclassify marijuana for medicinal use. I believe we need a safe and regulated system to make it available to patients. While states have been pushing for reform for years, I believe this needs to be addressed federally. I will be voting ‘YES’ on I-502.

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