I am disappointed that The News Tribune took the easy way out in merely endorsing the incumbents in the 26th Legislative District races. State Rep. Jan Angel is simply not in the same league with state Sen. Derek Kilmer and state Rep. Larry Seaquist. Dr. Sumner Schoenike is.
To say that Angel’s legislative record is thin is gross overstatement; it is nonexistent. Using the excuse that she is in the minority party only begs the question: Did she propose any legislation of substance? The answer is plainly, no.
Schoenike, far from a political newcomer, is a board member of Franciscan Medical Group, board member of Communities In Schools of Peninsula and, as president of the Pierce County Medical Society, established Project Access for Pierce County, an initiative that provides free medical care for low-income, uninsured individuals.
These are not political offices in the sense of a governmental ballot, but they are certainly selective and qualify as public service.
Unlike Angel, who has no degree, and in addition to his bachelor’s and medical degrees, Schoenike has a master’s degree in public health, a very important qualification in light of the fact that health care is the second highest budgetary cost of state government after education. It, too, is the area suffering the greatest budget cuts. Our rapidly changing medical landscape begs for someone of Schoenike’s caliber.