Toledo resident Michael Messmore has declared his candidacy for the Lewis County Commission among a growing pool of hopefuls vying for Position 3.
A retired pilot for Delta and Kalitta Air, the owner of Toledo-based Rio Design & Construction, and Vietnam era veteran of the Army Reserve, Messmore said he is running as an opportunity to serve the community he has called home for the last three decades.
“I strongly believe that the greatest gift that one can give is service back to the community,” he said, stating it is his belief America’s democratic system was not designed for career politicians, but for those who serve just long enough to accomplish their goals, then bow out to allow their successors do the same.
Of the goals Messmore said he hopes to accomplish while in office, jobs are his number one priority, stating it is not enough to see more minimum wage jobs but also to encourage the creation of well-paying private sector careers.
“This will be done with lower taxes,” he said, stating he intends to “aggressively push” for job-creating business incentives, adding he fully supports entities such as the Ports of Chehalis and Centralia, the Chehalis Industrial Commission and the Lewis County Economic Development Council.
Messmore said he is also hoping to tackle problems related to crime and drug use, government inefficiencies and disaster planning, stating he has previously been involved as a pilot is disaster responses to earthquakes in Italy and Haiti, and believes new options should be explored to mitigate perennial flooding in the area.
Bolstering his optimism toward a successful election is Messmore’s experience campaigning previously for a seat in the US House of Representatives in 2006, hoping to represent Washington’s Third Congressional District. While incumbent Brian Baird won the election that year, Messmore said the experience should give him a running start in his race for a seat on the commission.
“I’ll strive to bring the highest level of integrity and leadership into the county,” he said. “My primary job would be to listen and learn of the problems affecting our businesses and populace and to create solutions to those problems.”
Messmore joins local candidates Jerry Pratt, mayor of Toledo, and Vader native John Roe in the race for Commission Position 3, while it has been stated the total candidate pool could be as many as six or seven individuals when official registration begins next week.