Former Yakima Valley fruit exporter challenges Inslee for seat

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Republican Bill Bryant, a former Seattle Port commissioner and Yakima Valley fruit exporter, hopes to unseat Gov. Jay Inslee in the November election.

Bryant served as a Seattle Port commissioner from 2008 through 2015 and is also the founder and chairman of Bryant Christie, a firm that helps farmers and agriculture companies export their crops. He left the Port post to run for the state’s top office.

Republican Bill Bryant, a former Seattle Port commissioner and Yakima Valley fruit exporter, hopes to unseat Gov. Jay Inslee in the November election.
Republican Bill Bryant, a former Seattle Port commissioner and Yakima Valley fruit exporter, hopes to unseat Gov. Jay Inslee in the November election.

Bryant said he accomplished the goals he had set as a Port commissioner, including cutting port carbon emissions and bringing the ports of Tacoma and Seattle together to create the Seaport Alliance.

Consolidating the ports gives them a competitive edge, making the Seaport Alliance the third-largest port for container shipments in North America.

Bryant said one of his goals as governor would include making Washington’s schools stronger.

Bryant is a staunch supporter of the state’s charter schools and would like to see the state ‘reinvent’ the final two years of high school, so curriculum is more relevant to the individual student’s future.

Bryant said he wants to retain AP classes and the Running Start program, but he also would like to see more opportunities for students who aren’t seeking to go to college and are looking into more vocational opportunities.

“Like pre-apprenticeship programs that allow students to graduate with a certificate that will get them a family-wage job.”

Bryant said another top priority is creating a more fiscally-responsible government in the state.

“We are not being prudent with our tax dollars,” Bryant said. “In 2015, there was a 15 percent increase in tax revenue and it wasn’t enough.”

Inslee’s lack of leadership and planning has cost the state’s taxpayers.

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Mary Coffman

Mary Coffman

Mary Coffman has been a reporter for more than two decades, winning numerous journalism awards throughout her career. She was the editor at Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business for 8 years.

View all posts by Mary Coffman