Politics & Government

Democrat Randy Spitzer to challenge state Rep. Jesse Young, R-Gig Harbor, in 2016

Randy Spitzer, D- Port Orchard, says he will challenge Republican state Rep. Jesse Young next year in the 26th Legislative District.
Randy Spitzer, D- Port Orchard, says he will challenge Republican state Rep. Jesse Young next year in the 26th Legislative District. Courtesy photo

The leader of a nonprofit community choir plans to challenge state Rep. Jesse Young, R-Gig Harbor, next year for his seat representing the 26th Legislative District.

Randy Spitzer, 63, lives in Port Orchard. He is the executive director of Cora Voce, a nonprofit singing group in Tacoma that he said also provides grants for elementary school music programs.

Spitzer, a Democrat, said Young and other Republicans’ blanket opposition to new tax measures is part of why the state is in contempt of court for failing to come up with a plan to fully fund education.

He criticized Young as supporting policies that cause members of the middle class to pay more than their fair share in taxes, yet still not generate enough revenue to fully fund schools and other state priorities.

“Nobody likes paying taxes, but we neeed to be able to come up with revenue to pay for the things we need, like schools and bridges,” Spitzer said by phone Tuesday.

In addition to leading the choir group, Spitzer also has served on the boards of the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor, according to a news release.

The 26th Legislative District, which includes parts of Pierce and Kitsap counties, encompasses Gig Harbor, Port Orchard and part of Bremerton.

Young, 39, was appointed to represent the district in January 2014, when Jan Angel moved from the House to the state Senate. He won election to a full term in November 2014, defeating Democrat Nathan Schlicher.

Young is a business and technology consultant who has worked for clients including Kaiser Permanente, a health care company.

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