By John Simpson
Mike Winkler learned early on in life the value of hard work.
Growing up poor and with seven siblings contributed to this outlook.
“I learned the importance of hard work,” he wrote in a recent email.
He also absorbed the value of service.
“My father and mother were both World War II veterans and taught us to respect military service.
The notion of hard work inculcated by his parents resulted in Winkler and his siblings earning four-year college degrees.
As to service to others, he began with the Army.
He enlisted for three years.
His work ethic combined with opportunities in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps led to the gold bars of a second lieutenant and ended 21 years later in 2004 with the silver oak leaves of a lieutenant colonel.
With his resume of “pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps hard work” and leadership, plus a degree in education, Winkler signed on to teach in the Clover Park School District for nine years as an elementary teacher on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
He has also served as a board member on the Steilacoom Historical School District and teaches as an adjunct professor in the education division at St. Martin’s University.
Most recently, Winkler, a Republican, decided to run for a seat in the House of Representatives to represent the 28th District.
“I am a public servant,” he wrote. “These words describe me.”
As such, Winkler’s three legislative priorities will be education, transportation and veterans’ issues.
“Education must be our first priority in the state budget,” Winkler continued.
“For too many years our local schools have been underfunded … I know how important it is to make sure our kids get a good education.”
No argument here; the positive correlation between educational opportunity and economic growth is crystal clear to all who care enough to look and then act.
Speaking of action, the amount of traffic on our local roads is an issue.
“Our community has a real traffic problem,” he rhetorically wrote.
With transportation as his second priority, Winkler pledges to continue and promote the work done by state and local officials to “make sure our area get the transportation projects we deserve.”
His final top issue centers on veterans and their needs. The 28th District has one of the largest concentrations of veterans in the nation.
On this point Winkler uses words as clear as the last note of Taps.
“I will ensure that we keep faith and the promises we as a nation have made to our military families.
In a campaign season all too often marred by fuzzy thinking and character assassination, Mike Winkler offers an alternative forged on hard work to clearly and honestly serve the citizens of the 28th District.
This is why I invite you to join me in electing Mike Winkler to represent the 28th District in the Washington State House of Representatives.