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The Daily World – Hilary Franz talks Grays Harbor County ties, run for congress

Dec 19, 2023

Of the six people who have represented the 6th district — which now includes the Olympic Peninsula, the Kitsap Peninsula, Grays Harbor County and parts of Tacoma — since 1930, none have called Grays Harbor County home, and all have been men.

That could change next year.

Franz, who bought a home in Seabrook last year, said her work as the state’s public lands commissioner has given her firsthand experience of the issues facing the Olympic Peninsula.

“It is a very diverse district,” Franz, a Democrat, said in an interview with The Daily World. “It’s diverse economically, it’s diverse by politics, it’s diverse by race, and it’s also diverse by its land and waters. I have experience in that diversity.”


In addition to support from the former and outgoing representatives of the district, her young campaign gained endorsements from local politicians, including two former state legislators of the 19th District, Brian Blake and Dean Takko, state Rep. Mike Chapman of the 24th District, Aberdeen Mayor Pete Schave, Elma City Councilor Mike Cooper and Grays Harbor County Commissioner Vickie Raines.

“I’m very grateful to see someone running for the 6th Congressional District that has those ties” to Grays Harbor, Raines said. “Oftentimes, we feel as though we are left out of things when it comes to resources. Derek Kilmer’s been very good, and Norm Dicks before him was very good, but no one understands Grays Harbor better than someone who has lived in Grays Harbor.”

As head of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Franz pushed the Legislature for more investments in the state’s wildfire fighting resources, but she also pointed to the agency’s work on tsunami and earthquake preparedness, including updating maps and models for inundation zones. Franz said she was part of the lobbying effort that secured $100 million to begin seismically retrofitting schools on the Washington coast and said she would work toward similar investments if elected to Congress.

Read more in The Daily World.

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