#4ThePeople: Your candidates for the House of Representatives District 3 Position 2 race

SPOKANE, Wash. — Timm Ormsby has been in office since 2003. In the race for Washington’s third legislative district, Position 2, he faces Natalie Poulson, who hasn’t held public office before.

Ormsby, a Democrat who has been in office for almost 19 years, says he’s looking to keep it that way. Poulson is a Republican and former Spokane school teacher. Poulson was fired from the school district for refusing to wear a mask.

RELATED: Spokane educator fired for not wearing mask plans to sue the district

Ormsby said he’s running to stay in office due to what he calls “uncertain times”. Poulson said she wants to tackle crime and keep communities safe.

Ormsby said he’s served on almost every committee the legislature has and says that experience can help his district thrive again.

“I have spent a good amount of time working on every committee that the legislature has to be able to translate all the wide and varied issues that face the state and be able to translate them into what I could do to help my community, not just survive but thrive,” he said.

Poulson hasn’t held public office yet but said her time as Head Start’s parent liaison to Olympia and her teaching experience makes her qualified to represent the third district.

“I am running because I love my city, I’ve been here my entire life, and it’s a beautiful city, and it has really changed in the last few years. It’s not a safe community anymore and it’s a place where I want my children to stay. I think all parents want their children to stay close to home, and we need to have a safe community so that our children can thrive, we can thrive, and have a wonderful community, back to the way it was,” Poulson said.

Poulson said crime is out of control, and she wants to work on legislation to bring it down, especially when it comes to drug use and overdoses.

“That has a lot to do with legislation. So we have to start looking at what’s not working, and we are actually losing our youth. We are losing our youth to the fentanyl crisis, we are losing 18 to 35-year-olds at an astronomical rate, and we need to do something different,” she said.

Ormsby said crime is a problem, and it’s something that can be addressed by getting to the root of why people commit these crimes in the first place.

“We have to have accountability for people that are creating violent crimes, we also have to approach this with care and compassion to individuals with substance use disorder problems, mental health problems, for those chronic offenders, but at a certain point you have demonstrated your ability and unwillingness and accountability kicks on and we have to do that in concert with the other branch of government the judicial with the executive branch and local criminal justice institutions,” he said.

As of July, the sale of high-capacity magazines is banned in Washington. Ormsby says the legislature is looking to restrict gun sales even more, which is something he is in favor of.

“We have to provide gun safety for our folks, it is a big fear among families, especially with school children. Gun violence is a huge issue the legislature is looking at and will have proposals for military-style assault weapons too that are under consideration,” Ormsby said.

Poulson says, she’d rather look at enhancing security in schools.

“I do think that we need to look at security in schools, this is a step that we need to start talking about, instead of just restricting law-abiding citizens,” she said.

Both candidates say they agree that housing, homelessness, and crime are the biggest issues that need to be addressed.

READ: #4ThePeople: 4 News Now voter guide for Nov. 8 general election