Lowenberg, who retired in July as Washington’s adjutant general and commander of the state’s National Guard, today endorsed Kilmer in his run for Congress. He’ll actively campaign for him as chairman of the new Veterans for Kilmer group.
Kilmer’s district and his opponent are two factors that make it especially important he reaches out to veterans. There are many voters with military ties in the 6th Congressional District, where retiring Rep. Norm Dicks was a major player in defense spending.
And unlike Democratic state Sen. Kilmer, Republican candidate Bill Driscoll is a veteran who served as a Marine in Iraq (2006) and Afghanistan (2008).
Not surprisingly, Lowenberg said during 44 years of military service he never endorsed any candidate or gave any campaign contributions. That changed upon his retirement. He made a $500 contribution to Republican Rob McKenna last month and now is becoming active with Kilmer.
On a conference call, Lowenberg credited Kilmer with being a well-informed lawmaker who looked out for veterans by helping pass laws recognizing military service in state licensing, and by adding military or veteran status to Washington’s nondiscrimination laws, which also protect people based on race, sex, disability, sexual orientation and other traits. His legislative accomplishments also earned Kilmer an endorsement by the Veterans’ Alliance for Security and Democracy, or VETPAC.
Lowenberg, of University Place, recently joined law firm Gordon Thomas Honeywell’s lobbying operation. Until July he led the state Military Department, which oversees the Army and Air National Guard, emergency management and the funding for upgrading local 911 systems.
He said in a statement:
I am supporting Derek because of his intellectual rigor, work ethic and diligence in making well-informed, fact-based decisions on policy issues. He is knowledgeable about foreign and domestic security matters and committed to serving those who serve our nation in uniform. He will be a Congressman our service members and their loved ones can count on – and will reflect great credit on the citizens of his district.