Luanne VanWerven, the Whatcom County Republican seeking a 42nd District House seat, stressed her agreements with departing State Rep. Jason Overstreet, but acknowledged she would approach the office differently if she is elected.
"I don't think, at the end of the day, that Jason and I would disagree on a lot of issues," VanWerven said Friday, May 9, in a telephone interview.
But she added that she tends to take a more collegial approach to political issues--an approach she cultivated as county chairwoman.
"We have Republicans of all different perspectives," VanWerven said. "At the end of the day, we're going to focus on what we agree on, not what we disagree on."
She said she prides herself on building relationships with people of all perspectives, and she acknowledged that Overstreet's approach was more confrontational.
"Being a female, i would say that I would definitely have a a different approach," VanWerven said. "I am very relational. I love to build relationships with people no matter where they stand on issues. My methods would probably look a little different."
VanWerven, vice chairwoman of the Washington State Republican Party, appears likely to take over the seat in a Republican-leaning district. She is also a former chairwoman of Whatcom County Republicans.
During his two terms in Olympia, Overstreet staked out political territory on the right wing of a conservative party. Among other things, he endorsed Sharam Hadian for governor instead of then-Attorney General Rob McKenna, the candidate favored by the party mainstream. He also endorsed Ron Paul's presidential bid.
Late Thursday, May 8, via a Facebook post, Overstreet announced that he would not seek a third two-year term.