Activist Aguilar to challenge Sen. Honeyford for seat

Race heating up for 15th Legislative District seat in Senate

— A need for a change in leadership has prompted local activist Bengie Aguilar to challenge long-time 15th District incumbent Sen. James Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, for his Senate seat.

“It’s time for a new choice,” the 57-year-old said.


Bengie Aguilar


Sen. Jim Honeyford

Aguilar made her decision to run on two things:

“My desire to help shape the world the future leaders will inherit and my frustration over the increasing lack of cooperation shown by elected leaders.”

Saying the district’s Hispanic community is not being represented, Aguilar believes more work needs to be done for the entire community.

The 15th is the only minority-majority legislative district in the state, she said.

“It’s time for representation in Olympia that reflects the reality on the ground,” she said.

Aguilar is a trainer specialist with the Migrant Student Data, Recruitment and Support, where she has worked for 16 years. She and her husband, Dan Aguilar, have lived and worked here more than 40 years. They have four children.

Aguilar served as a city councilwoman from 2001-04.

She has a long record of community service, including organizing and supporting voter registration campaign throughout the Yakima Valley.

According to her biographical information, Aguilar has volunteered on school bond committees, served as a Yakima Valley Community Foundation board member, a Yakima County Conference of Governments board member, and for the Lower Yakima Valley Rural Economic Community Empowerment as committee chair.

She is also active in her church, and other community service agencies.

“I have a great admiration for Sen. Honeyford, and the work he has done in the Senate,” she said. “But, if our representatives are not finding a middle ground on complex issues, they are not doing the job they were elected to do.

“I just feel it is time to expand the vision of what’s good in the larger community."

More must be done to connect with the whole community, she said.


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