With longtime Rep. Richard DeBolt retiring, candidate announces bid for seat

The Chronicle

On the same day longtime 20th Legislative District Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, announced his upcoming retirement from the House, Centralia City Councilor Peter Abbarno has announced his campaign to fill the seat.

Abbarno, a Republican attorney who lives in Centralia, praised DeBolt’s 24-year career in the House and said he is prepared to continue to work on many of the same issues.

“Richard DeBolt has served this community very well over the past 24 years and I am proud and honored to call him a friend,” Abbarno said in a press release. “I will continue to work on solutions for homelessness, lack of housing inventory, catastrophic flooding; and improving economic opportunities for working families and small businesses.”

Abbarno has already been endorsed by both DeBolt and 20th District state Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama.

The press release touted some of the recent honors he’s been given, among them the Economic Development Leadership Award from the Lewis Economic Development Council, the Human Rights Award from Church Women United and the Person of the Year award issued by The Chronicle’s editorial board earlier this year.

“I believe in building strong families and strong communities so that our children and future generations will have the same and more opportunities to be successful,” Abbarno said. “I am running, as a business owner, to hold government accountable to the people and businesses they represent; I am running, as a father and husband, to make our communities more affordable for working families; and I am running, as a community member, to protect our streets so everyone feels safe.”

Along with his position as mayor pro tem on the Centralia City Council, Abbarno is also involved in many other efforts. He’s the current president of the Centralia College Foundation board and a member of the Lewis Economic Development Council.

“Instead of solving ‘kitchen table issues’ that families and small businesses care about, the Legislature has been focusing on extreme fringe issues without regard to the citizens living past the shadow of the Space Needle,” Abbarno said on the press release. “Preserving our property rights, protecting our freedoms guaranteed under the state and federal constitution, and recognizing the importance of our natural resource based economy are issues that I will highlight during the campaign.”