DATE: Friday, March 23, 2018
CONTACT: Joy Stanford
Educator, Health Care Advocate, and Longtime Resident Joy Stanford to Run for State Representative
Stanford will challenge Republican Michelle Caldier for swing seat in Washington’s 26th LD
GIG HARBOR—Local substitute teacher, health care advocate, and mother of a Peninsula School District student, Joy Stanford announced today her campaign for State Representative in the 26th Legislative District. Stanford, widely known in the community as “Ms. Joy”, has lived in the district for over twenty years and has never sought public office. She will challenge Republican Michelle Caldier.
Stanford was motivated to run by a clear need for elected leaders in line with the values and priorities of the district. “I am a problem solver who cares about this community and wants to do more for the neighbors who make it great,” said Stanford. “After seeing my opponent put partisan politics before common sense policies that will serve the district, I knew I had to do something. We need leadership on school and mental health funding, services for Veterans, Equal Pay, and other legislation that is fundamental to healthy communities, and we need it now. It’s time to put people first.”
Stanford is a Substitute Teacher for all grade levels throughout the Peninsula School District. “I’m proud to say my son will graduate from Peninsula High School this Spring and is heading to college in the Fall, but not all of his classmates have that opportunity,” said Stanford. “I will fight to give students more options by making college more affordable and accessible while expanding vocational and technical training programs that boost our economy.”
Prior to becoming a substitute teacher Stanford spent 14 years working with seniors and underserved populations in the region to gain access to Medicare, Medicaid and other critical health care services. “I have seen firsthand what happens when our representatives put politics and special interests over the needs of regular people,” said Stanford. “When single moms and senior citizens who have worked hard and played by the rules for their entire lives look me in the eye and tell me that they’re scared because they don’t know if they’re going to get the services they need, it’s clear something has to change.”
In addition to continuing to champion education and family services, Stanford will focus on accountability and pocketbook issues such as ensuring every family has access to quality, affordable health care, and keeping road and transit projects on budget and progressing on an acceptable timeline.
“My husband works for Boeing which means he commutes over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge every day to get to work,” said Stanford. “We often have to spend over $200 each month just to get to work. I will prioritize area infrastructure projects like light rail and highway improvements that ease people’s commutes, so South Sound families can afford to stay in the region we love and spend more time with our families and less time sitting in traffic.”
Stanford is going door to door talking with voters throughout the district which includes Gig Harbor, Port Orchard, and parts of Olalla, Bremerton, and Fox Island. Stanford said, “I’m excited to continue talking with voters about the issues that matter most to them and working together to find community-driven solutions to the challenges facing our growing region.”
Stanford and her husband David are the proud parents of Rhiannon, age 38, Brandon, age 31, and Benjamin, age 18. David works for Boeing on the 737 line as a Quality Inspector, and their youngest son Benjamin is a senior in high school in the Peninsula District. Stanford lives with her husband, youngest son, and their dog Dexter in Gig Harbor.