A co-owner of downtown Tacoma’s Odd Otter Brewing Company is running for state House.
Bonney Lake Republican Pablo Monroy announced Monday he would challenge Rep. Chris Hurst in a 2016 race that could help decide the balance of power in the House that Democrats control by a narrow 50-48 margin.
Hurst is an Enumclaw Democrat who states his party preference as “independent Dem” to distance himself from his party in the Republican-leaning, suburban-to-rural 31st District of east Pierce and southeast King counties.
In a campaign announcement, Monroy blamed Democrats for problems he sees as a small business owner.
“The restrictions we have seen placed on small businesses in this state have done nothing to help the economy or the people of Washington. We need more job creators in Olympia,” he said in a statement.
Monroy served in the Navy and twice deployed to the Persian Gulf on the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, according to a News Tribune profile of Monroy and his husband, Derrick, that spotlighted their wedding during Washington’s move toward recognizing same-sex marriage.
Monroy would be the only openly gay Republican in the Legislature.