Builders say Rossi is still their pick

Olympia Master Builders members gave U.S. Senate candidate Dino Rossi a standing ovation this week at the group's monthly dinner meeting.

Rossi, a Republican who was strongly backed by builders in his two runs for governor, talked about his ambition to change the course of government for his children’s generation.

Rossi, the challenger to Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, was one of 11 candidates – most of them Republicans – who spoke Tuesday night at Indian Summer Golf and Country Club near Olympia. Included was state Rep. Jaime Herrera of Camas, who is running in the 3rd Congressional District against Democrat Denny Heck for U.S. Rep. Brian Baird’s seat.

Candidates for Thurston County offices included Pat Beehler for county commissioner, Kim Wyman for auditor, Tom Nelson for treasurer and Glen Morgan for assessor and Lee Grose for Lewis County commissioner. Legislative candidates included Republican Rep. Gary Alexander from the 20th district and challengers J.T. Wilcox in the 2nd district, Jason Hearn in the 22nd and Daniel Griffey in the 35th.

Laura Worf, executive officer for the five-county builders group, said the dinner drew about 150 people.

“He’s very much a favorite of the homebuilding industry. He knows what it’s like to run a small business,” Worf said by phone of Rossi, who also spoke to OMB during his 2008 run for governor. “Our group gave him a standing ovation in appreciation of his efforts. … He talked about some of his strengths, similar to when he was running for governor.”

Worf said Rossi also spoke of being “able to bring people to the table” and needing to change Washington, D.C., and put it in touch with voters’ desires.

The OMB serves Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific and Mason counties.

Brad Shannon: 360-753-1688 bshannon@theolympian.com www.theolympian.com/politicsblog