Abell announces candidacy for Washington House

Mar. 29—INCHELIUM — Hunter Abell, of Inchelium, has announced his candidacy for the state House of Representatives, according to an announcement from Abell Thursday.

Abell, a Republican, would represent the 7th Legislative District, succeeding Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, who announced in early March he would not seek reelection. The 7th District includes Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, as well as parts of Okanogan and Spokane counties.

"I am proud to announce my candidacy to represent the people of the 'Fighting 7th' in Olympia," Abell wrote in the announcement. "Our district reflects the values and people that made our country great, and I want to fight for them in our state government."

Abell cited his 20 years in the Navy, serving both as an enlisted man and an officer, and also his legal background. Abell is an attorney with the Spokane office of Williams Kastner & Gibbs, PLLC, he wrote.

Abell described himself in the announcement as a constitutionally conservative attorney, who will ensure that the rights of the District's citizens will be defended.

"It is essential we have legislators with a deep understanding of our U.S. and Washington Constitutions," Abell wrote. "These documents are essential to maintaining our freedom, and we need legislators willing to fight to defend them."

Abell's campaign will focus on public safety, preserving the 7th district's rural way of life, and protecting Second Amendment rights regarding firearm ownership, he wrote in the announcement. Abell recently served as judge for the Ferry County District Court where he saw first-hand the devastating impacts of fentanyl and drug-related violence, he wrote.

"Drugs are wreaking havoc on our rural communities and we need people in the legislature experienced with drug-related treatment and law enforcement efforts," Abell wrote. "As someone with law enforcement in the family, I will be a strong ally of our men and women in blue."

Abell also seeks to preserve and protect the 7th District's rural way of life, the announcement said. A part-owner of the family ranch, Abell wrote that he is intimately aware of the challenges facing land owners, including those who wish to harvest timber.

"Individual property owners know best how to care for the land and ensure it remains healthy and profitable. The state should be getting out of their way," Abell wrote, adding that he and his family were evacuated from the family ranch in Inchelium in 2021 due to a fast-moving wildfire.

"You never forget waking up your children and telling them that we need to leave," Abell said.