In the race for Rick Larsen’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a debate over Coupeville’s Outlying Field has become a key issue.
There are two sides to the argument over what do about the hot-button topic of jet noise, and voters should have a choice between the two points of view going forward to the General Election.
Larsen, a Democrat, maintains the Navy’s touch-and-go field is vital to the Navy and, therefore, important to Whidbey Island and the North Whidbey economy.
Independent challenger Mike Lapointe says the Outlying Field is a real problem for Central Whidbey residents who live within earshot of the Growlers that use the runway. He grew up near the Westfield-Barnes Airport in Massachusetts and knows about jet noise.
He says Larsen’s response to public concern has not been enough. He apparently has the support of Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve, the group that wants to see the OLF closed down.
Republican challenger BJ Guillot is another serious candidate, but he echoes Larsen’s thoughts on the OLF issue. He said closing OLF would hurt North Whidbey and is against the idea.
Larsen has done a lot for the district during his years in office and deserves to make it through the primary. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he has worked especially hard to support the Navy bases in Everett and on Whidbey Island and to ensure local veterans have access to their benefits.
Lapointe is an independent voice who is willing to challenge some of Larsen’s views on the touchy subject of the military.
Ballots for the Aug. 5 primary are going out this week. We’d like to see Larsen and Lapointe continue on in this election and face further debates on the issue.
Now is the time for those not-so-vocal citizens to get up and ask the tough questions.