Incumbent Monica Stonier is challenged by Republican Park Llafet and Troy Potter, an independent candidate
For the second consecutive night, the League of Women Voters of Clark County held a virtual candidate forum Thursday. This event included candidates for state representative in the 49th District, both races for Position 1 and 2.
The candidates were offered the opportunity to provide opening and closing statements as well as providing responses to questions posed by a moderator. The event was televised by CVTV.org. Here is a link to the video of the forum. The candidates in the race for Position 2 participate first: https://www.cvtv.org/ajax_video_popup.php?id=31311
Democrat Monica Stonier is the incumbent in this race and she is being challenged by Republican Park Llafet and Troy Potter, an Independent candidate. The top two will advance from the Aug. 4 primary election to the November general election.
Clark County Today offers the following bio and profile information on each candidate (in alphabetical order):
Park Llafet (Republican)
Park Llafet is a first time candidate but he lists 23 years of service in the local community including serving as both the vice president of the Evergreen School District as well as the PTA president. He stated that his sales background helped the schools increase fundraising efforts by “over six times annually.’’
Llafet stated that he believes in the importance of community and business partnerships in supporting the entire educational system, which he says he has “personally led and seen enable the successes of its students.’’ He also became involved with the Evergreen School District Foundation, which provides scholarships for students, funding innovative teacher grants, and helping to kickstart financial resources for homeless and low-income students.
Llafet’s professional experience includes a sales role at Portland Piano Company and as director of Institutional Sales and Relations at Michelle’s Piano Company. He also was employed as general manager at Hollywood Music Company. Llafet has 19 years of experience in the music industry. He is an accomplished pianist, playing since he was 6 years old.
“As a father, businessman, and community nonprofit leader, I care about giving a stronger voice to my neighbors in Southwest Washington,’’ Llafet said. “My volunteer service and community involvement over the years has given me a commonsense perspective and prepared me to represent you.
“In Olympia, I will fight to revive the economy, lower taxes, bring back parent choice in children’s education, find the best options for our unhoused citizens, bring more minorities to tables of leadership, and create sustainable policies and practices for clean water, energy, and the environment,’’ Llafet stated.
For more information, go to Llafet’s campaign website, https://parkllafet.com/.
Troy Potter (Independent)
Troy Potter lists his elected experience as serving as vice president and president of the Human Resource Society, Washington State University. His professional experience is as director of Accounting and Finance at Crossroads Church.
“As a husband, father and a grandfather, I know that access to health care, including mental health, livable wage jobs, homelessness, education for our children, proper wages for our teachers (including early childhood educators), try to real-in the taxes for our elderly, fixing our roads, right to bear arms and a new I-5 bridge without filling Oregon’s’ pockets with money from hard working Washington residents is on the minds of everyone in Southwest Washington,’’ Potter stated. “These are just a handful of areas that I want to address in Olympia.’’
Potter believes as an independent candidate, he’s not beholden to anybody but those constituents he would serve. His top priority is the COVID-19 pandemic.
“First and foremost, my top priority is the health and welfare of everyone local, regionally and global,’’ he said. “Opening up too early will jeopardize everything that has been worked on to date. Opening public places and limiting the amount of people entering will slow the spread of Covid-19.’’
Potter is also focused on education.
“I know that education is very important for our youth,’’ he said. “Not teaching our youth everything that they will need to go to the next level is vital. What I have found that is missing is basic life skills. Balancing a checkbook, debt to credit ratio, how to stay out of debt and saving for retirement are just a few areas that are not covered in school. In my opinion, life skills should be a class for every child in high school so they will be ready.’’
For more information, go to Potter’s campaign website, https://electpotterfor49.com/.
Monica Stonier (Democrat)
Monica Stonier is currently serving as the state representative in the 49th District. She has served as house majority floor leader and chair of the Financial Education Public Private Partnership and Working Families Caucus and as a member of the Capital Budget Committee.
Stonier still works as an instructional coach in Evergreen Public Schools. She previously was a classroom teacher at Pacific Middle School.
Stonier graduated with a Psychology degree and teaching certificate from Western Washington University. She also acquired a Master’s in Education at Washington State University Vancouver.
Stonier said she decided to run for public office because she is passionate about keeping Clark County a great place to raise a family. She believes a good representative is one who listens to the community and makes decisions based on that two-way communication, advocates for all community members and works towards an effective government and respectable debate.
“More than ever, we need leadership and collaboration from lawmakers,’’ Stonier said. “I pledge to continue working to ensure a safe reopening of our economy and working with public health experts to monitor COVID-19 impacts.
“As we move forward, I commit to continuing work on homelessness, behavioral health access, successful schools, special education funding, children’s health care access and transparency, and working family issues that serve our region well,’’ Stonier stated. “I ask you to send me back to Olympia to continue working with community leaders to serve you, your family, and our local economy.’’
Stonier believes her noteworthy successes in Olympia include helping to pass key pro-labor bills in the state, de-linking passage of the state test for high school graduation and expanding health care access for students in school-based healthcare centers. Stonier also worked to help pass legislation for Comprehensive Sexual Healthcare Education in schools.
For more information, go to Stonier’s campaign website, https://www.votemonicastonier.com/.