A Vancouver resident and legal mediator has declared his candidacy in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.
Peter Khalil, a Democrat, is the first to announce a challenge to five-term Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, who has already said she will be in the 2020 race. Khalil is running on four core tenets: anti-corruption, health care, environment and infrastructure.
He graduated $180,000 in debt, he said, and went to work on Wall Street in 2007 — just in time to watch the economy crumble.
Khalil then moved to Vancouver, where he works as a legal mediator and arbitrator at Northwest Mediation.
This isn’t his first dalliance with public office. In 2011, the then-29-year-old joined and subsequently dropped out of the appointment process to replace Democratic state Rep. Jim Jacks. Khalil was discouraged by the appointment process, he said.
“It also gave me pause that I was new to the region at that time, to be honest, and I saw many good candidates,” he added. Until now, he hasn’t sought any other local, state or federal elected office.
He believes in free health care for the entire country, including the 56,000 uninsured or under-insured people in Southwest Washington, he said. He’s not sure how much that would cost, and said he’s skeptical of anyone who claims they do.
“I would either introduce or sponsor a bill that provides every American citizen with no-cost, nonprofit health care, including vision, dental and mental health care,” Khalil said.
His campaign manager, Linda Garcia, was among the loudest voices opposing the proposed oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver. Khalil is staunchly against any infrastructure that would support the fossil fuel industry, including the oil trains that still run along the Vancouver waterfront.
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