After declaring his intention to run for Kittitas County Commissioner, District 2 in early April, longtime homebuilder and Cle Elum small business owner Jerry Martens officially filed his candidacy paperwork today with the County Auditor.
“When we entered this race on April 9, I had high hopes for the level of support we would receive from the community and it has far exceeded my expectations. In just four weeks, we have managed to raise over $15,000 for the campaign, setting us on firm footing as we look toward the first Primary Election ballots being mailed out in just 40 days,” Martens said.
Martens’ message of the need for a strategic vision for the county as well as increased transparency, accessibility, and accountability in county government appears to have quickly resonated with the community.
Martes continued, “The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted and amplified many of the challenges that led me to enter this race. It has shown that many departments are stuck in the 20th Century and not utilizing technology that would make them more efficient while minimizing disruption during these uncertain times. County government must be nimble enough to adapt to challenging situations so the impact on our citizens and businesses is reduced as much as possible.”
Adding to the campaign’s momentum was the rare early endorsement from the Affordable Housing Council of Central Washington, the advocacy arm of the Central Washington Home Builders Association. Construction and associated trades constitute a sizable percentage of family-wage jobs in the Upper County, which makes this an especially important endorsement.
Martens concluded, “I am looking forward to having a robust discussion about the issues we face and the future of Kittitas County over the coming months. We’re looking at an uncertain economic situation as a result of COVID-19 and I hope to be able to offer my leadership and experience to help guide our recovery as we come out the other side. While this situation provides a monumental challenge, it also provides an opportunity for us to assess the status quo. We have an opportunity to make improvements, ensuring we emerge stronger and more fiscally solvent, giving us the ability to serve our citizens better in the future.”