Colleen: Sen. Randall wants federal funding for Washington ferries

Dec 1, 2023, 12:48 PM | Updated: Dec 11, 2023, 3:41 pm

randall federal funding ferry...

A Washington ferry heads away from Seattle on April 6, 2020 in Seattle. (Photo: Karen Ducey, Getty Images)

(Photo: Karen Ducey, Getty Images)

The Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas, Washington’s 6th Congressional District, is up for grabs as current Democratic Representative Derek Kilmer is not running for re-election. Three candidates are currently vying for the seat, including Washington State Senator Emily Randall (D-Bremerton).

In our live interview with Senator Randall on Seattle’s Morning News, we asked a number of questions, including if the district has the stomach for another Democrat when so many areas around the district either consistently vote Republican or have flipped red in recent years. However, one very important question we asked was about what she would do in Congress to help our state’s ailing ferry system.

We gave Senator Randall many chances to offer ideas and potential policy changes she’d like to propose, but her answers fell short in my opinion. I did push her on the ferry question, which you can listen to here:

“One of the reasons I went to Olympia in the first place and [why] I was excited to serve on the Transportation Committee and to serve as one of the lead negotiators on the ‘Move Ahead Washington’ infrastructure package was because our ferries needed attention,” Randall began her answer.

“I think we definitely need federal funding to help support new construction of vessels. We’ve poured a ton of money into Washington State. We need federal investments to allow us to build faster,” Randall said.

Also running for the 6th Congressional District is Public Lands Commissioner Hillary Franz – a Democrat – and State Senator Drew MacEwen, who is a Republican.

Following our interview with State Senator Randall we invited potential challenger State Senator Drew MacEwen (R-Shelton) on Seattle’s Morning News. We wanted to ask him about the state ferry system and other topics related to his potential run for Congress.

Sen. MacEwen talks about the future of the Republican party

Being a Republican today is more challenging than, say, a decade ago. The Trump Administration turned the Republican party on its head, and factions developed within the party. The prevailing authority, though, continues to be former President Donald Trump, who still leads in the polls as he attempts another run for the White House.

“When I ran for my state house seat in 2012, my seat had not been held by a Republican since 1932,” MacEwen said. “What we’ve seen is a trend on the Olympic Peninsula.”

He believes the Peninsula is ready for a Republican Congressional Representative, which has elected a Democrat since 1964.

Does he support another Trump presidency? No, MacEwen says he endorsed former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. Does he align with the Freedom Caucus? No. Would he support a federal abortion ban? That’s when he took a beat to answer.

“I don’t think you’re going to see that ever come to a vote. That’s been returned to the states, and that vote has never happened, and I don’t see that happening at the federal level,” MacEwen said.

Many also never thought Roe v. Wade would be overturned, and yet here we are, so I pressed him for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. You can listen to our exchange here:

Madison Books owner talks holiday book gifts, and shopping small buinesses

Holiday shopping is underway, and this week, with Travis Mayfield filling in for Dave Ross, Travis invited the owner of his favorite book store, Madison Books, onto the show to give us some solid book suggestions.

James Crossley says business is good five years into ownership and sees people shifting from online book shopping back to in-person because, he argues, what small business bookstores can offer is vastly different from what the giant of book sales, Amazon, can do.

“People always do bring up Amazon and I kind of wonder why we still talk about that. They’re in a completely different business,” Crossley argued.

He points out that the number of independent bookstores has grown every year for the past 12 years until we hit the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it remains – in his words – a “thriving part of the retail sector.”

Crossley says he reads about 200 or more books a year, which makes him a book recommendation expert and we took advantage of that skill in our interview. He offered book recommendations for ages infant to adult, and you can listen to them here:

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

KIRO Newsradio Opinion


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Colleen: Sen. Randall wants federal funding for Washington ferries