Once Yakima County Commissioner LaDon Linde opened the doors of his District 3 campaign headquarters recently, the reality of being called a politician, who is now running for election hit home.
Inside the 504 Yakima Valley Highway location, which is now a political command center was provided by the Barnes family. Linde, along with community supporters and family members, including his mom Marilyn and dad John, who have been married for 62 years, celebrated the occasion with a small bowl of soft serve vanilla ice cream and a few squeezes of chocolate syrup on top for good measure
The Sunnyside resident was appointed on Nov. 12, 2020 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Norm Childress, who was elected in 2018.
“So, by state law, if somebody is appointed to fill that office, you have to run to keep that seat at the next general election, which is 2021,” Linde explained.
He will still have to run a third time in 2022 to complete Childress’ original term and begin a four-year term of his own.
“I will say that I am really appreciative of the support I’ve received from people so far, particularly here in the third district. Also, up and down the valley, I’ve been very warmly received by people,” Linde announced.
According to the County Commissioner candidate, he’s obtained additional support from state legislators and elected officials, such as city council members and mayors, and school board members, as well as endorsements from agriculture and business leaders.
Linde grew up and graduated from Granger High School in 1979. He’s resided in the Sunnyside area for 45 years. Prior to serving on the Board of Yakima County Commissioners, he was a lower valley dairy operator and director of medical staff services at Astria Sunnyside Hospital.
As part of the outdoor ribbon cutting ceremony, Linde communicated his primary goals of continuing to open up the county for businesses, schools and churches to the enthusiastic audience.
“As someone who has worked in the hospital system for 15 years, I’m very aware that COVID is a real thing but I also know that we’ve made a lot of progress in the last few months. Particularly, as the vaccine effort has rolled through Yakima County, Washington state and the rest of the country,” Linde told the enthusiastic audience.
The positive information and downward data indicated hospitalization rates and new cases rates have dropped below the criteria established in Gov. Jay Inslee’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ plan, he happily reported.
“We’re hoping that the next phase beyond Phase 3 would be no phase at all, he stated. “We can’t get rid of COVID, it’s going to be here for years to come but we have gotten to the place where I think we can manage it like other diseases.”
Except for the last six months, he’s spent 40-years in the private sector and knows what it’s like to be a taxpayer. The Commissioner acknowledged he keeps that in mind every time public monies are spent.
Another goal Linde shared out loud was to encourage economic development. New jobs stimulate growth, while keeping Yakima County families in the region for generations to come, he said.
Working for stronger and safer communities, from strengthening police resources to combating the plague of drug abuse, is the biggest issue aside from the pandemic facing the county, he emphasized.
“80% of the repeat offenders in Yakima County jails have a substance abuse issue,” Linde stated.
Property crimes, domestic violence and violent crimes are all tied back to substance abuse, he identified. The way to deal with the evident substance abuse crisis is through prevention, education and treatment, Linde advised.
The homeless problem which affects businesses and the losses they’ve incurred, and how the public’s access to quality-of-life services are impacted in connection, he conveyed.
“We also have to address the fact that all of these people, including the victims of substance abuse addiction and habits are children of God. And they have value, and we need to be willing to help them as well, Linde advocated.
Following the ceremonial ribbon cutting, guests were invited indoors to for a refreshing treat before leaving with a campaign souvenir.
On their way out the door, Linde’s parents took home a campaign sign. The District 3 candidate voiced, “Hey dad, thanks for your support!”