Republican Sen. Dan Swecker of Rochester has drawn a GOP challenger in the conservative 20th Legislative District, which redistricting changed this year to include less of Thurston County and add areas as far south as Clark County.
John Braun, who describes himself as owner of Lewis County’s largest employer, said in a news release that it is time for the district to be represented by someone with job-creation experience.
“I will be a vigorous leader for our community, fighting for lower taxes, and making jobs a top priority,” he wrote.
Braun is the president of Braun Northwest, a company that builds emergency vehicles.
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The news surprised Swecker, who has served 18 years in the Senate. It also surprised Rep. Gary Alexander, a Thurston County Republican who has served with Swecker but is being moved by redistricting into the 2nd District.
Swecker is facing the prospect of a GOP challenger for the second time in a half-year – after Jami Lund announced last year that he was running, then withdrew.
Swecker said he’ll announce his re-election bid soon and will outline work to create jobs.