Your 16th District legislators are ready to serve and represent you!

By Rep. Terry Nealey
Special to the Prosser Record-Bulletin

Every 10 years, the Washington State Redistricting Commission redraws legislative and congressional district boundaries. This ensures districts remain equal in population and every citizen has equal representation in the Legislature and in Congress. Sometimes, boundary changes may be small enough that areas stay within the same district over many decades. Changes can also be significant, such as in Prosser.

In the 1990s, Prosser was within the east end of the 15th Legislative District, which stretches into the lower Yakima Valley. In December 2001, the commission approved new boundaries, which placed Prosser within the 8th Legislative District, comprised mostly of Benton County. The latest remapping, approved by the commission on Jan. 1, 2012, moved the 8th Legislative District boundaries north and placed Prosser within the west end of the 16th Legislative District.

If you live in Prosser and surrounding areas down to the Washington-Oregon border and east of Grandview, you probably noticed a new set of legislative candidates on your November ballot. That’s because you reside within a new legislative district. However, your new legislators are not new to the 16th Legislative District.

Sen. Mike Hewitt, a longtime small business owner from Walla Walla, has served the district since 2000, and was the Republican leader for the state Senate from 2005 to 2012.

Rep. Maureen Walsh has served as a state representative for the district since 2005, and prior to that, worked as a legislative assistant in the district for many years. She owns and operates a restaurant in Walla Walla.

I have served in the state House of Representatives since 2009, and have lived in Eastern Washington my entire life, growing up on a farm in Whitman County, and settling down in Dayton, where I am a private practice attorney, and a former prosecuting attorney and coroner for Columbia County.

Many interests of the Benton County portion of the new 16th Legislative District are the same as in Walla Walla and Columbia counties, including agriculture, jobs and the economy, energy, education, human services and more. And although we were elected as Republicans, we serve all citizens within the district, regardless of party affiliation.

Over the next four months while the Legislature is in session, we will submit a weekly article you can read here in the Prosser Record-Bulletin to help you learn about us and the issues in the Legislature that affect the district. We thank the newspaper for this opportunity.

Prosser is a wonderful addition to our district. We are excited to be representing  you in the Legislature. Please contact us any time you have questions, comments or ideas about state government. You can leave a message for us via the toll-free legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000, or call our offices directly in Olympia between now and April 28: Sen. Mike Hewitt – (360) 786-7630; Rep. Maureen Walsh – (360) 786-7836; Rep. Terry Nealey – (360) 786-7828. You can also e-mail us: mike.hewitt@leg.wa.gov; maureen.walsh@leg.wa.gov; and terry.nealey@leg.wa.gov. When the legislative session is completed, we will update you here with our district office telephone numbers in Pasco and Walla Walla.

We also encourage you to sign up for our e-mail updates from our Web sites: http://src.leg.wa.gov/hewitt/; houserepublicans.wa.gov/maureen-walsh; and houserepublicans.wa.gov/terry-nealey.

We are ready to serve and represent you, and look forward to hearing from you!

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov