SNOHOMISH, Wash., January 20, 2022 – Steven Skelton, a Snohomish-based Republican, is planning to run for State Representative representing Washington’s 39th legislative district, challenging Republican incumbent Carolyn Eslick for the Position 2 seat.
“On the matters that are really important – war, debt, and the infringements of rights – there is no reasonable difference between the Democrat and the Republican parties, and therefore our best hope as a nation to defend liberty is the remake of the Republican party as the party of liberty and freedom to oppose the Democrats as the party of force and of government,” Skelton told the Lynnwood Times.
The focus of his platform is education reform, supporting backpack funding for K-12 education. Backpack funding grants students funds that follow them to whichever school they are enrolled in, rather than giving a set dollar amount to a school based upon the enrollment in a given district.
“It funds the student rather than the system. The schools are failing miserably. Let’s put the money in the parent’s backpacks and let the parents decide where to send their kids to school, and let’s let different schools open up around the country serving different needs,” Skelton told the Lynnwood Times.
Along with his focus on education, Skelton believes in supporting and protecting private business and property, freedom of speech, and minimizing taxes.
Skelton ran for election to the U.S. House to represent Washington’s 1st Congressional District in 2020 and lost in the primary on August 4, 2020, to Democrat Suzan DelBene. After witnessing Governor Inslee’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which Skelton believed to be unconstitutional, he decided to focus on his home state of Washington rather than the federal government.
“Prior to COVID, I really saw the federal government as the center of the irresponsible governments. They were the ones printing the money, they were the ones acting outside of their constitutional mandates. But post-COVID, my eyes have moved from D.C. to home,” Skelton told the Lynnwood Times.
Forming an interest in politics
Skelton was born in Aberdeen and was raised on Mercer Island. In 1984 his family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he lived for 28 years. When his father passed in 2012, Skelton returned to Washington with his wife and kids, living in Lake Stevens for one year before moving to Snohomish where he has lived for the past seven years. He runs his own consulting company in Everett, Steven Skelton Consulting, dealing with attorneys in competitive industries working with client acquisition; one of his clients is his wife who owns her own law firm, Skelton Law.
His interest in politics blossomed in 2012 after seeing Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray speak at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). During the lecture, Gray looked out into the audience and laid out the reasons students involved in sales and law should consider running for office as a Libertarian.
“I was persuaded…It was focus-changing for me. I left that day telling myself I’d do it,” Skelton said. “I see bad things coming, and it’s time for people to stand up for liberty,” Skelton said.
Contributions to his community
Skelton has done a number of things to support his community including a free clothing store through his church and running the Snohomish Longhouse, a community kitchen that ran from 2013 to 2019 providing free meals for Snohomish residents in need.
In addition to free meals, Skelton and his team offered free showers and laundry machines. They did not ask for proof of income but instead provided their services without judgment to whoever needed them.
“Libertarians are some of the most generous people I know because we understand you cannot tax and spend your way out of social problems,” Skelton, who considered himself a Libertarian until recently, told the Lynnwood Times.
Although Steven Skelton identifies as a religious man, attending Central Faith Church in Snohomish where he plays bass in the band every Sunday, he believes religion and politics should be separate issues.
“I’m not the Christian-right Republican. I have no interest in using the force of government to instill my moral values upon anyone else. I want people to be free as they want to be – to live their lives as they wish to live them,” Skelton told the Lynnwood Times.
Social Media stirs and switching to Republican from Libertarian
Steven Skelton maintains a strong social media presence, creating a stir on platforms like Facebook where he posts on local news outlet pages to further what he calls “liberty-minded” comments. He has over 1,000 followers and over 1,000 likes.
On September 17 Skelton asked his followers on Facebook if he should run with “prefers Republican party” or “prefers Libertarian party.” Although he considers himself far-distanced from the Republican party ideologically, the reason for this consideration relates back to Anthony Welti, who ran for Washington Commissioner of Insurance in 2020 as a Libertarian.
Welti was a longtime insurance worker, working in banks and insurance agencies across Washington before leaving his career to raise money and campaign for Insurance Commissioner. He raised $100,000 for his campaign. On the last day before the ballots were finalized, Chirayu Avinash Patel signed up as Republican. Patel received 644,446 votes and Welti received 324,921. Skelton believes the reason was simply due to Welti having “Libertarian” written beside his name.
“That’s when I realized that a Libertarian may be able to win a city council position in Arlington. But a Libertarian probably can’t win a statewide position,” Skelton told the Lynnwood Times.
Lawyer and politician Justin Amash broke history in 2020 by becoming the first Libertarian to sit in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. In 2016 Gary Johnson, the same Libertarian who inspired Skelton’s political interest, held the most successful Libertarian presidential to date receiving 3.28% of the vote (about 4.5 million).