SEAVIEW — Local businesswoman Tiffany Turner has decided not to seek office as a state representative this year.
Turner in late 2015 announced plans to seek office as a state representative. But in a Jan. 18 letter titled “A New Year; A New Direction”, Turner told her supporters, “I’ve been able to take some concentrated time with my family over the holidays to reflect on my opportunity for impact, and I have decided that 2016 is not the right time for me to seek the 19th District Legislative seat.”
Turner, who co-owns Pickled Fish restaurant in Long Beach and hotels in Long Beach and Seaside, has been active on local boards and committees, and in the local Democratic party. In 2015, Turner sought an appointment to a 19th district legislative seat that opened up when former Sen. Brian Hatfield resigned to take a job in state government. During the initial round of the selection process, precinct committee officers named Turner as their first choice for the appointment. However, in the second and final round of the selection process, the county commissioners from each of the five counties in the 19th District disregarded the PCO recommendation and voted overwhelmingly for another candidate, J.D. Rossetti.
Rep. J.D. Rossetti, D-Longview replaced former Rep. Dean Takko, who was appointed to Hatfield’s open Senate seat. The appointment allowed Rossetti to complete Takko’s term in the House, which runs through the end of 2016. However, if Rossetti wants to stay in office beyond 2016, he must successfully run for the seat in the 2016 general election.
Shortly after losing in the appointment process, Turner announced plans to run against Rossetti in 2016. She filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission, and began preparing for a campaign. Two Republican candidates also announced plans to run against Rossetti.
In the letter, Turner said the campaign process had been “eye-opening” and “tough” in unexpected ways. She said that desire to focus on raising her two young sons and managing her businesses factored into her decision not to run. She also hinted at a general sense of disillusionment with the political process.
“... the ultimate reason ...is because with my current knowledge, skills and resources, I believe that I can make greater forward progress from outside of elective office,” Turner wrote.
Though Turner has many local supporters, it became apparent during the appointment process that she did not have the same district-wide political connections as Rossetti, a former legislative assistant who had strong support from Longview union and industry groups.
“I’m sad and a little abashed to say that it’s not enough to be intelligent, experienced, committed and well-intentioned in our current political environment. This ‘business that is politics’, being inside it for a bit, I realize how very broken it is, and how it’s going to take ALL of us, whether in government or outside, to get involved to change it,” Turner wrote.
Turner thanked her supporters, and said she planned to continue working on public service projects, and supporting other local candidates who share her values.