Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, facing Republican challenger

The ColumbianJanuary 21, 2014 

Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver

Vancouver resident Carolyn Crain has announced that she'll again run for the legislative seat currently held by state Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver.

Crain, a retired business owner, will formally kick off her campaign for the 49th Legislative District's second House position with an event Thursday.

Among the Republican's top priorities are taxation issues, the economy and individual rights, she said.

Crain said she decided to make another run for the Legislature this year because she believes the 49th District needs a change. "We are fiscally conservative across the board on issues that are fiscal, and that really is who I am. And that's not really who he is," Crain, 54, said of Moeller, 58. "I think we really need representation who thinks about fiscal issues the way that we (do)."

Moeller has been elected to the House six consecutive times in the Democratic-leaning 49th District. He currently serves as House speaker pro tempore.

In 2012, Moeller beat Crain for the same seat by a margin of 60 percent to 39 percent. Moeller raised far more money in that race than Crain, then a first-time candidate for public office.

Crain said the 2012 experience will help her this time around. The demands of running a campaign are more familiar, she said. And it's not unusual for a candidate to run for the same position — even against the same opponent — more than once before winning, she added.

"I learned a lot, and I'm a lot more prepared," Crain said.

Crain regularly attends public meetings in Clark County. She's been an outspoken opponent of the Columbia River Crossing project and frequently weighed in on other issues. And while the proposed Interstate 5 Bridge replacement with light rail was a central focus in 2012, Crain doesn't intend to make it an emphasis this year. Washington pulled out of the controversial project in 2013; Oregon's Legislature is still pursuing an Oregon-led effort. Moeller has been one of the CRC's biggest supporters.

"I will be asked about it, so I will answer," Crain said. "But it's not what I'm looking to be at the forefront of this campaign."

Crain's campaign kickoff event will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday at Club Green Meadows, 7703 N.E. 72nd Ave. The $30 dinner will include an address by Port of Vancouver Commissioner Jerry Oliver.

A campaign fundraising event collected money for Moeller and other Democrats as recently as last month. Moeller could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

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