Okanogan Farm Bureau president announces candidacy for state legislature


Joel Kretz announced plans to run for the seat in the state legislature now held by Cathy McMorris. Kretz, 46, made the announcement at a 7th District Republican meeting in Newport Sunday.

State Representative Cathy McMorris recently announced plans to run for Congress, which will leave her seat vacant next fall.

“The people of the 7th District have been well represented in Olympia,” said Kretz. “I hope to continue that tradition as your representative.”

As Okanogan Farm Bureau President, Kretz organized several large rallies in Okanogan and Ferry Counties that ignited a statewide campaign aimed at reversing Road Maintenance and Abandonment (RMAP) laws that severely impacted family forest landowners. RMAP requirements placed extensive financial burdens on landowners for road upgrades, culvert replacements, maintenance and yearly reviews and reporting on private forest roads.

Kretz chaired the Washington Farm Bureau RMAP Committee and spoke at a series of meetings around the state to help rally landowners to action. During frequent trips to Olympia Kretz worked with agencies on administrative changes and a diverse group of stakeholders and legislators to ensure corrective legislative. House Bill 1095 (the RMAP Bill), which brought relief to family forest landowners, passed both the House and the Senate with a unanimous vote and was signed into law by the Governor. Kretz has also chaired and served on several key committees and boards throughout the region.

“Revitalizing our local economy is essential,” Kretz said. “Providing opportunity and jobs to the 7th District will be a major focus. We also need to maintain essential services such as rural hospitals. I believe we can do it. I have a proven record of getting things done in Olympia.”

Raised in a logging family, Kretz, a lifelong resident of Washington, worked many years in the timber industry managing his own company. Since 1990 Kretz and his wife Sara and son Jed have operated a family ranch raising cattle, horses and timber near Wauconda in Okanogan County.

Contact Joel Kretz at (509) 779-4105


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