Four in early running for Quall's 40th District state House seat | Election 2010

40th District House candidates, as of Feb. 23, from top: Congressional staffer Thomas Boucher, Anacortes School Board President Kris Lytton, Skagit County Republican Party Precinct Officer Mike Newman, and Democratic State Party Committeeman Tom Pasma.  - Contributed photos
40th District House candidates, as of Feb. 23, from top: Congressional staffer Thomas Boucher, Anacortes School Board President Kris Lytton, Skagit County Republican Party Precinct Officer Mike Newman, and Democratic State Party Committeeman Tom Pasma.
— image credit: Contributed photos

State Rep. Dave Quall is retiring after 18 years of service in the Legislature.

Quall is a retired teacher, counselor and coach. He is chairman of the House Education Committee, and has also been devoted to clean air and water, economic development, farmland preservation, and transportation.

Four district residents are already out of the chutes with their campaigns to succeed him:

— Democrat Thomas Boucher, a member of Congressman Rick Larsen’s district staff.

— Democrat Kris Lytton, president of the Anacortes School Board.

— Republican Mike Newman, a real estate agent and Skagit County Republican Party precinct committee officer.

— Democrat Tom Pasma, a Bow rancher and former chairman of the 40th Legislative District Democrats.

Under Washington law, the top two vote-getters in the Aug. 17 primary — regardless of party — advance to the Nov. 2 general election.

Thomas Boucher
Besides being a congressional staffer, Boucher is former legislative assistant to state Rep. Jeff Morris and served one year as executive director of the Skagit Valley Wine Association.

Boucher said he decided to run “after talking with hundreds of people in the Northwest about the issues they are facing.”

The No. 1 issue: Jobs.

“They are tired of the partisan politics and are looking for their elected leaders to focus on the economy and jobs,” Boucher said in a press release.

“People in the Northwest are concerned because their longtime neighbor is going to lose their home. Or a family member, who because the company they worked at for 30 years shut down, is now looking for a job for the first time in this great recession. We need to make jobs in Washington the top priority. We need to fight for jobs by investing in Washington again.”

Boucher proposes investment in Washington’s infrastructure and transportation — bridges, ferries and roads.

Boucher said that when he owned a restaurant in Mount Vernon, he witnessed firsthand the burdens on small businesses trying to survive in a tough economy. He wants to take these lessons to Olympia to look for ways to assist small businesses in the Northwest and provide incentives to get businesses hiring again.

“Small businesses are the heart of the economy and jobs in Washington and we need to make sure they have the tools to begin hiring again.”

Boucher has lived in Mount Vernon with his family for more than 24 years. His daughters attend Mount Vernon High School and his wife Lesha is a nurse at Skagit Valley Hospital.

Boucher graduated from Mount Vernon High School, Skagit Valley College and Western Washington University with degrees in political science and communications.

He has served as a board member of Youthnet since 2006 and has served as the board president since 2008. Youthnet is a non-profit organization serving at-risk youth and their families in Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties.

Kris Lytton
Besides serving as Anacortes School Board president, Lytton is vice president of the Anacortes Schools Foundation, which raises funds for scholarships for Anacortes students; member of the Anacortes Museum Foundation Board, which raises funds for the Anacortes Museum; and member of the Anacortes Senior College Board, which holds classes for seniors in Anacortes.

She served on the board of the Anacortes/San Juan Island Red Cross from 2008-09; and since 1996 served on local PTA boards, including service as president and legislative chair.

“I am committed to ensuring that our children have an opportunity for a future that is better than ours,” Lytton said in a press release.

“We must prepare the next generation for a bright new world where they are able to compete and to be leaders in a global society.”

Lytton’s priority concerns extend to improved and less-costly health care, stabilizing the state’s economy, and an expanded job market.

Lytton attended Southern Illinois University, the University of Missouri, and Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey, Ill.

She has lived in Anacortes for 15 years and has been married to Mike Lytton for 21 years. They have two children — one in high school, the other at the University of Washington.

Mike Newman
Newman, a retired Boeing machinist, is a real estate agent with Century 21 North Homes Realty.

He said he is alarmed at the “accelerated recklessness by the majority party” in its allocation of state resources and the “overall decline in voter confidence in a government made up primarily of officials with no private sector experience.

Newman said his decision to run was made while casting his ballot in the November 2008 election. Confronted by what he saw as no choice of candidates, he wrote in his own name.

He said he can bring “real world experience” to the House.

Newman and his wife, Tina, have three grown children and four grandchildren with a new one on the way in April.

On his campaign Web site,, Newman said, “I pledge to take a common-sense approach to curb state spending, reduce taxes, and eliminate unnecessary and over-burdensome regulations. I will work tirelessly to bring businesses and jobs back to the 40th District.”

Tom Pasma
Pasma is well-known to many islanders. A rancher and auctioneer, he leads several benefit auctions each year in the region, including on San Juan Island. He has also served as a 4-H auctioneer at the San Juan County Fair.

Pasma and his wife, Sue Sultze, own Double S Quarter Horses in Bow. He served three terms as president of the Washington State Quarter Horse Association, and is a Democratic Party state committeeman.

In a story on, Pasma said he’s not entirely happy with the way either party is doing business right now.

“I think politicians need to return to their roots and make sure they represent the people first. As a longtime small business owner and rancher, I hope to bring my knowledge of farming, business and community to the legislature,” he said.

Pasma said that as a small-business owner, he knows firsthand the challenges facing business owners who want to provide a living wage and health benefits for their employees.

Pasma does 25-30 charity auctions a year for many community groups, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County, Camp Fire Girls, Mount Vernon Rotary, Skagit Land Trust, and Skagit Valley College.

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