Joyce McDonald came to America in 1973 as an immigrant from Scotland.
Growing up in the United Kingdom, McDonald never thought twice about living under the monarchy until she came to America after meeting her husband, Gary, an American sailor who was serving in Scotland at the time.
“I was so fortunate to marry an American sailor,” she said. “When I was taking classes for my U.S. citizenship test, I took government courses where I learned the government of America is by the people, for the people. I am so thankful I was able to come to America and participate fully in government.”
After learning about the power of democracy more than 40 years ago, McDonald has since found her passion in representing her fellow Americans as a state legislator and a Pierce County council member. She served five terms in the Washington State House of Representatives from 1997 to 2007.
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In 2008, McDonald was elected to the Pierce County Council, where she has served since.
McDonald, a Republican, is now campaigning to fill the vacant 25th District seat, as incumbent Hans Zeiger is running for state Senate. Michelle Chatterton, a 26-year-old Puyallup native and a Democrat, is running against McDonald.
McDonald is hoping to return to the House of Representatives to finish legislation she worked on during her tenure.
She previously worked to pass legislation to acquire 70 percent of the right of way needed to finish state Route 167, and hopes to return to see the project through to completion.
“I want to see that continue,” she said. “I was getting the work started, and I want to go back and make sure things are getting done.”
Since McDonald has come to America, the 63-year-old has raised her family in the Summit area of Puyallup. She has four grown children and 10 grandchildren who live in the local area.
“I’m so fortunate and thankful to raise my family here,” she said. “I want to be sure they have the same opportunities or more than what I had. I want them to be able to live their lives without fear. My goal is to make Washington state a better place to live and work.”
A proud McDonald supporter, Antoinette Bronson says she has no hesitations about electing McDonald. Bronson and her husband own the Cottonwood Mobile Home park off of River Road, just past the city limits of Puyallup.
The bus stop for the estimated 50 children in Bronson’s mobile home park was plagued with hypodermic needles and illegal activity, which she contributes to the local homeless population. She says when local law enforcement wasn’t doing enough, she turned to McDonald, her Pierce County Councilor.
“I was impressed with her ethics and responsiveness,” Bronson said. “When you contact her office, you get a response with genuine concern and follow through.”
She says since contacting McDonald, the bus stop has been cleaned and law enforcement is stepping up more.
“Joyce wasn’t doing it for the recognition,” Bronson said. “She did it because it was the right thing to do. It’s hard to find honest and responsive representatives here and across the country. Joyce is (one).”