City Council candidates hope to improve community

Candidates aim to solve traffic, make airport safer, diversify transportation options


Michael Linder, Ryan Pugh | The Daily Evergreen

Brandon Chapman, left, is running against incumbent Jeff Hawbaker for his City Council seat. Chapman is the director of marketing and communication in the WSU College of Education, and Hawbaker is a development manager for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories.


Candidates for City Council Jeff Hawbaker and Brandon Chapman said their biggest priorities for Pullman this year were improving the airport, solving transportation issues and improving the Pullman community.

Incumbent Jeff Hawbaker is a development manager for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL).

Hawbaker said that the improvement he would make to the city is tackling the issues downtown, which includes traffic flow and increasing bypasses to take care of traffic congestion.

His opponent, candidate Brandon Chapman, is the director of marketing and communication in the College of Education at WSU. He is in charge of the college’s strategic direction and determining ways to communicate their brand to the public.

Chapman said that he would work to improve the downtown area by bringing in more transportation options.

Hawbaker said he also wants to address safety improvements to the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport. He is concerned that the runway is too narrow and is not long enough for larger planes to land. He said the runway is too close to the terminal building as well.

“I also want the airport to allow for more destinations of the planes and reduced price of the flight,” Hawbaker said.

Chapman said he also plans to improve the aesthetics of Pullman and figure out ways to reuse water that would benefit the city.

However, his biggest hope is to reinforce civic engagement through interactions between the students of Pullman and the city.

“I don’t want any single one of these being the focus of my campaign,” Chapman said. “Instead, I believe a more engaged group of residents can help turn every issue into an opportunity.”

Hawbaker said his past accomplishments on City Council include adding additional roadwork to improve traffic in the city, and securing funding for equipment, such as fire trucks and ambulances.

Chapman said he is running for City Council to make Pullman a better place to raise children. He said he loves Pullman and the residents, and he is inspired to run to fix things to make everything run smoothly.

“I think we have some jewels folks aren’t aware of,” Chapman said. “Often times, these amazing things are discovered when you’ve lived here for a while. It truly is a highest quality of life.”

According to the City of Pullman website, Hawbaker received his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology in 1981, and received his master’s degree in computer science from Texas A&M University in 1990.

Chapman was born in Corvallis, Oregon. He moved to Olympia when he was seven, and later Centralia for high school. According to the WSU College of Education website, Chapman attended Centralia College and earned an Associate of Arts degree in radio and television in 2002.

He transferred to WSU and double majored in Spanish and broadcasting news in 2004. He later earned his Master of Science in broadcasting journalism at Syracuse University in 2006.