Rep. Don Cox announced he would not seek reelection


Capital Press

Two Republicans will face off in the Washington House District 9 race during the Nov. 3 general election.

Susan Fagan of Pullman, Wash., and Pat Hailey of Mesa, Wash., led the vote count in the Aug. 18 primary election, according to election officials.

District 9 includes Adams, Asotin, Garfield, Whitman and parts of Franklin and Spokane counties.

Fagan received 6,509 votes for 29.3 percent of the total vote, and Hailey received 5,722 votes for 25.7 percent.

Democrat Glen Stockwell received 5,401 votes, or 24. 3 percent. Republicans Art Swannack and Darin Watkins received 2,747, or 12.3 percent, and 1,866, or 8.4 percent, respectively.

Under Washington law, the top two vote-getters in the primary run in the general election.

Rep. Don Cox of Colfax, Wash., announced in May he would not seek reelection. Cox was chosen in January to succeed Rep. Steve Hailey, who resigned from the Legislature in December and died after a yearlong battle with illness shortly after. Pat Hailey is Steve Hailey's widow.

In May, Doug Ellis, assistant director of the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, told the Capital Press the winning candidate must also stand for reelection next year, when Hailey's unexpired term ends.

Fagan owned a farm for more than 15 years, raising wheat, barley, lentils, peas and canola. Her sons now do all the farming, she said. She also has experience working for several manufacturers and the U.S. Senate.

She wants to see efforts continue to fund opportunity to increase agricultural markets.

"Opening markets and making sure we serve the markets we currently have well is very important," she said. "We are the most trade-dependent state in the country, and a lot of that is based on our agricultural exports."

Fagan also pointed to the regular business issues that affect farmers, such as business and occupation taxes on agriculture and the reinstatement of Washington's death tax.

Hailey has owned a fourth-generation wheat farm and cattle ranch outside Pasco, Wash., for 39 years. She has also served as an elected member of the local school board, and said education is another priority.

She pointed to a water policy that requires farmers to use their water or risk losing their water rights.

"That law does not incentivize water conservation," she said. "It causes you to use water when perhaps you didn't need to use water. In this day and time, water conservation is important."

Continually adding rules and regulations for Washington farmers doesn't give them advantages in the world market, Hailey said.

"We need to keep agriculture on the center of the plain in this state, because it is a $22 billion industry," she said. "We need to keep it active and growing. That's a story that needs to be told in Olympia, and I can do that."

More online

Access Susan Fagan's website at

Access Pat Hailey's website at


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