Tom Dent is running to hold his current position of Legislative District 13 Position 1.
If elected for his fourth term as state representative, Dent wants to focus on areas in aviation infrastructure, environmental issues and childcare.
He is looking into long term funding for aviation infrastructure because Washington State is a major aerospace state and it is about a $100 billion a year industry, Dent said.
A lot of Dent’s goals center on issues in which he is a member of a committee. Dent is on three legislative committees.
On the Human Services and Early Learning Committee, he is the ranking member and wants to focus his term on childcare support and making childcare facilities financially viable. This is especially important in order to help working parents and reopen the economy during this pandemic, Dent said. He believes there is too big of a regulatory burden on childcare providers, and wants to push to lighten that burden this next term.
“I believe children are our legacy, our future, and it’s really important that we look to support them.” Dent said.
Mental health support and de-stigmatization is also an area Dent feels passionately about.
As the Assistant Ranking Member of the Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, he hopes to continue to work on putting together a program for rural fire protection. Similar to a fire protection association in Oregon, Dent has been working on legislation that would allow citizens to form local groups that would respond to wildfires to be the initial attack and could be a resource and support for fire agencies. The local groups would be required to have adequate personal protection equipment, basic training on fire suppression and communication equipment.
President Kennedy’s statement: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” motivated Dent to want to make a difference and he came to the realization that public figures such as legislators are just people with a passion. He had a passion for politics and to serve people in any capacity he could. Dent wants to continue to serve and said: “I’m just in a position that I know that I can continue to do good things.”
The biggest challenge as a state representative is working across the aisle, Dent said. “I work well with the other side because I respect them as people,” he added.
Dent said that there are challenges working within your own caucus or party as well, but that it comes down to realizing that you have more in common with people than you don’t.
Dent said that his experience in the position and understanding of the expectations of the position are important qualifications for him to continue to be District 13’s State Representative.