Politicians parade in Pullman

Leaders walked with supporters, spoke about issues related to healthcare, tuition



Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell and her supporters greet constituents at the National Lentil Festival in Pullman during the WSECU Grand Parade on Saturday.

YASMEEN WAFAI, Evergreen assistant editor

The annual National Lentil Festival in Pullman brought out many current and aspiring government officials and their adherents to meet and speak with members of the community.

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, congressional candidate Lisa Brown and their supporters walked together during the festival’s WSECU Grand Parade on Saturday, along with other state and local campaigners.

“The lentil festival is such a great parade because it really highlights what is a very important crop in the whole mix of everything,” Cantwell said. “I want to just keep promoting the ideas of growing more lentils in the United States and the festival is just such a great celebration of that.”

Cantwell, who has been in office since 2001, said industries in Pullman such as Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and the lentil crops are cutting edge.

“The Pullman area is a very important part of our state,” Cantwell said. “Not just because of WSU, but the companies.”

Funding for the prevention of wild fires and technology like drones for firefighters has been a recent focus for Cantwell, as well as working to expand capacity at the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport.

“We want the economy around here to be able to grow and take advantage of the great research that is done,” she said.

Brown, who is running against incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers to represent the 5th Congressional District, said this is not her first lentil festival.

“It is great to be back here and to be talking with people at this point in time when some people are really questioning the direction of our country and leadership in Congress,” she said.

Brown also expressed her support for Cantwell and said it would be “fantastic” to serve with her in the state house and work together.

“Senator Cantwell I’ve always admired because she is a problem solver,” she said.

The cost and insecurity of health care, tariffs, the trade war and affordability of schools are some of the issues Brown said she is currently working on.

Rodgers was not at the parade but had a group of supporters and volunteers walking for her at the event.

Matthew Sutherland, a democratic candidate for Washington’s 9th Legislative District Position 2, was also at the festival and, like Brown, wants to tackle issues like health care and tuition.

“One of the best parts about being involved in the community is getting … to know the folks out here and getting to know what the issues are,” he said.

Sutherland also said it has been great seeing the involvement and support of people including students from WSU.

“Nothing changes if we do not have action,” he said.