This is part of a series of candidate profiles Patch will be bringing you for the 2012 elections. Dawn Morrell is running against Shelly Schlumpf for Position No. 1 in the 25th Legislative District.
NAME: Dawn Morrell
OFFICE SOUGHT: State Representative 25th Legislative District - Position 1
PARTY AFFILIATION: Democratic
TOWN OF RESIDENCE: Puyallup
CURRENT OCCUPATION: Registered Nurse
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: Former State Representative Dawn Morrell has lived in Puyallup for 28 years with her husband Jim, a retired Air Force pilot. Dawn and Jim have been married for 43 years and have two children and six grandchildren. Their two children, Jereme and Jameson, attended Puyallup public schools and graduated from Rogers High School. Dawn was elected to represent the 25th Legislative District in the Washington State House of Representatives in November of 2002. She served in the House of Representatives from 2003 -2010. Dawn continues to work as a certified critical care Registered Nurse at Multicare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, where she has worked since 1984.
WHAT IS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE FACING VOTERS IN YOUR DISTRICT: Because I am a working nurse people in my District talk to me about health care - losing a job and their insurance or having a serious illness can jeopardize not only their lives but also their homes and their future. They are also worried about education and their children.
IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS IN OFFICE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE? Implementing the insurance exchange in 2014 will bring more certainty to business, individuals, and families concerning affordable health care coverage. There remains a great deal of policy work that will be needed for implementation - I have the background in the legislature and the expertise to make it happen. Decreasing state funding for uncompensated care and insuring more Washingtonians will improve the economy. Improving the bottom line for business in the state by removing double digit health care insurance increases will free business and individuals to do what they do best - create jobs and improve the economy. I plan to serve on K-12 Education Committee - it is time to implement school reform with the funding needed. 167 completion to the port and improvements are now at the top of Pierce County's transportation project list and should be moved forward with all of Pierce County Delegation in support.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE REFERENDUM 74: SHOULD GAY MARRIAGE BE LEGAL IN WASHINGTON? BRIEFLY, WHY? I have been married for 44 years - I believe in commitment - for better or for worse, in sickness or in health. If people want to make this commitment why should I stand in their way? I believe family security is crucial. I will vote affirmatively.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE, INITIATIVE 502 TO MAKE SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIJUANA LEGAL TO PEOPLE 21 AND OLDER? BRIEFLY, WHY? I believe many aspects of the initiative will be challenged in court and I hesitate because of health risks. However, if the initiative truly makes small amounts of marijuana legal to people 21 and older, takes out the criminal aspects and keeps marijuana from kids (instead of buying on the streets and needing ID to purchase) I see some merits. Implementation of the initiative will be quite the challenge.