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Friday, May 7, 2021

Western professor Sharon Shewmake up for State Representative in primary election

Shewmake has been a professor in Western’s College of Business and Economics since 2013. // Photo Courtesy of Sharon Shewmake

By Colton Rasanen

Sharon Shewmake is a first-time candidate running for State Representative position two in the Legislative 42nd District. She teaches statistics, labor economics and environmental economics at Western. One of her main goals with this campaign is to protect families, workers and the environment as an investment in our future.

Shewmake said she was inspired by her students to go into politics.

A major issue in higher education is the fact that it costs so much, Shewmake said.

“It is sad that smart students who are trying really hard don’t have enough time to actually study, because they’re out working just so they can be able to come to class,” she said.

Shewmake said Washington needs to have people who know about economics in government. She said she feels like this is the year to take action on climate change in the state.  

Shewmake plans to use her knowledge of economics and environmental policy to assist in climate change action. // Photo Courtesy of Sharon Shewmake

Due to her experience as an environmental economist, Shewmake said she thought this would be the best time to run. She wants to be in office when climate action occurs so it can be done efficiently and intelligently along economic lines.

“I think it would be so great if we were a model for other states to follow,” she said.

Shewmake said that affordable housing is one of the most pressing issues in our district at the moment and plans to address this issue by pushing the government to fully fund affordable housing again. There is a housing trust fund in the state that was once granted $200 million, but has since been cut in funding, she said.

One thing that Shewmake wants to emphasize is for everyone to get out and vote. She said students should know that even though most news coverage is on national government, it is important to pay attention to elections closer to home.

“Especially in local elections, it is important for everyone to vote because these will be the things that most closely affect us,” Shewmake said.

Shewmake is running against incumbent Vincent Buys who has been in office for eight years. Read here for more information on the candidates for Washington’s 42nd district legislation.

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