Appleton wins sixth term in state House of Representatives | 2014 Election

Candidates tend to worry on election day, because anything can change. But Sherry Appleton was confident she would be reelected to District 23 position 1 in the state House of Representatives.

POULSBO — Candidates tend to worry on election day, because presumptions can be proven wrong. But early election day, Sherry Appleton was confident she would be reelected to District 23 position 1 in the state House of Representatives.

“He didn’t put out any effort except posting signs,” Appleton said of her opponent, Scott Henden. “There was nobody to campaign against.”

Henden did not return a call or email to the North Kitsap Herald by the time election results were available Nov. 4; he’s vice president of the North Kitsap School Board and had a school board meeting election night.

As of 8:15 p.m., Appleton had received 17,527 votes to Henden’s 12,586, to win a sixth term.

Members of the state House of Representatives are elected to two-year terms, are paid $42,106 a year plus per diem, and receive the same benefits provided to other state employees. Their salaries are set by the Washington Citizens Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials.

Appleton said she raised about $63,000 for her campaign; Henden didn’t fund raise.

Appleton said Henden’s decision not to ask for campaign contributions gives the “first hint” into Henden’s campaign. “If people invest in you, they think you’re a better candidate,” Appleton said.

During his campaign, Henden advocated for business regulatory reform, and a requirement that all workers be citizens or have a work visa. He wanted to see basic education defined, and said basic education should be funded first and unfunded mandates removed.

He also wanted to see local infrastructure and road improvements, and called for tougher sentences for repeat offenders. He is opposed to creation of a state income tax — something Appleton said she supports with adjustments to other taxes, while adding she believes a state income tax will never happen.

The “biggest gorilla” in the room for the Leislature in 2015 will be education, because the work to fully fund basic education has not been completed, Appleton said. To top it off, if I-1351 passes — implementing class-size restrictions and requiring about 15,000 new teachers — the Legislature will have to figure out how to put more teachers into more classrooms, she said.

The top issues of the campaign, according to Appleton, were the budget; fully funding education while not affecting “vulnerable communities”; veterans’ issues; providing proper care for those with mental illness; affordable housing; and fixing the health care system. Appleton said two of her longtime priorities have been increasing public safety and championing programs that allow older Washingtonians to live “in dignity and comfort.”

During her campaign, Appleton said she misspoke when she said “illegal workers” drove wages up and didn’t take jobs; Henden brought up that faux pas at campaign events. Appleton said she meant to say the opposite — it hurts the economy, she said. The Legislature has worked on the issue for three to four years, “trying to get it taken care of, because we don’t want an underground economy,” she said.

Appleton, a former Poulsbo City Council member, lives in Poulsbo. She wants to continue to serve in the House of Representatives for as long as she’s healthy, she said. “It’s hard to look forward two years and decide what you’ll want to do,” she said.