Saying that she will continue to fight for Kitsap County’s ferry commuters, Rep. Beverly Woods, (R-Poulsbo), announced Friday that she will seek re-election to the State Legislature from the 23d District, which includes Bainbridge Island and north Kitsap County.
“Nobody gets the raw deal that Kitsap County commuters do,” said Woods. “Too many people say that all we can do is increase the ferry fares. Somebody has to say enough is enough, hold the legislature’s feet to the fire and get them to fund the ferry system, our highways,” she said.
“I’m the one to do that, which is why I am running for re-election.”
Woods, a small-business owner and former Chamber of Commerce executive, was appointed to the Legislature in mid-1999 when former Rep. Karen Schmidt of Bainbridge Island resigned to become executive director of the state’s transportation mobility board.
Woods was re-elected in 2000, narrowly defeating Democratic opponent David Harrison of Bainbridge Island.
She has no announced opponent in either party, but said she expects a Democratic challenge.
She was named House Republican whip in the latest legislative session, making he part of the party leadership.
Woods said the legislature needs to do a better job of implementing transportation efficiencies, including modernizing the ferry fare-collection system.
But she acknowledged that if ferry fares are not going to keep climbing, more money needs to come from general taxation.
“The gas tax needs to be part of the equation,” she said.
Woods said state law limits a legislator’s ability to campaign for initiatives or referendums, and until she receives clarification, she is unsure how much she can say about the referendum package on the November ballot that would, among other things, raise the gasoline tax from the present 23 cents per gallon to 32 cents.
But she said she voted for the measure in the Legislature, and added, “there will be a lot of benefit to Kitsap County if it passes.”