Richland faculty board member Semi Hen launches marketing campaign for WA governor in 2024 | Elections

As he nears the tip of his first yr as a faculty board member — a yr which included a controversial transfer to defy Washington’s indoor masks mandate, an Open Public Assembly Act lawsuit and an ongoing recall effort — Richland’s Misipati Semi Hen has his sights set on state workplace.

Hen, 61, introduced his bid for governor at a Veterans Day occasion on the Legislative Constructing in Olympia.

Semi Hen

In an interview, Hen mentioned he’s a non secular individual, a Christian, who has spent his life in service to his nation. Along with serving as board member and legislative consultant for the Richland College District, Hen is a adorned U.S. Marine Corps and Special Forces veteran and a former director for the U.S. Division of Power.

“I really imagine that the place I’m at proper now, figuring out what’s on the market proper now, I’m completely the suitable individual to reply the decision to serve once more,” he mentioned.

Hen is working as a Republican and describes himself as a “constitutional Christian conservative.” He mentioned this implies he believes in a authorities of the folks by the folks — all folks — and in grace and unity below God, in addition to fiscal duty and meritocracy.

If elected, he could be the primary Black governor in Washington and the primary Republican within the place since 1981.

Hen’s marketing campaign focus

Schooling is a precedence for varsity board member Hen, who dropped out of highschool as a junior. After serving within the Marines, he obtained a bachelor’s diploma in enterprise administration from Columbia Southern College and a grasp’s of science in human useful resource improvement from Villanova College.

He’s a doctorate scholar for industrial and organizational psychology at Northcentral College.

“Schooling is so vital to me as a result of I do know that youngsters study in a different way,” he mentioned. “Youngsters study in a different way, and true fairness will not be decreasing the usual however assembly these youngsters the place their wants are, giving them what they should be profitable, in order that they’ll rise and carry out to the usual.”

He mentioned introducing extra studying packages, like structured studying, a scientific method to literacy or complete tutoring packages, could possibly be used at colleges all through the state to enhance outcomes and assist extra college students meet grade stage requirements.

“We have to comprehensively give the additional consideration that our college students want,” he mentioned.

Hen additionally has concepts for enhancing public security and the economic system.

He mentioned he helps efforts to “refund” the police and urged a recruitment pipeline from highschool to the Washington state Prison Justice Fee the place law enforcement officials are skilled to maintain up staffing.

“We’re inflicting every kind of issues, and the folks which might be adversely affected are these (in) marginalized communities,” he mentioned.

He mentioned he additionally sees alternatives to reinvigorate the state’s tourism business.

“We have to take management again of our streets so our streets are protected, so that folks come right here they usually can take pleasure in themselves, spend their cash in our neighborhood, enrich these small businessmen and ladies which might be the inspiration of our economic system,” he mentioned.

Hen, a proponent for the state’s Workplace of Minority and Girls’s Enterprise Enterprises, mentioned he additionally helps eradicating laws that hinder companies and incorporating tax breaks to incentivize improvement.

College board selections

Hen’s contentious transfer earlier this yr to defy the state’s indoor masks mandate led to an Open Public Conferences Act lawsuit and recall effort that’s below evaluate by the Washington Supreme Court docket.

He was elected to the college board mid-term in 2021 after his predecessor stepped down. His time period expires in 2023.

At a February particular assembly, he and different faculty board members voted to make masks non-compulsory in Richland lecture rooms. The transfer compelled the district to cancel lessons to judge subsequent steps and was later walked again.

It led to an Open Public Conferences Act lawsuit, which was settled by the district, alleging the college district and board didn’t give adequate discover to the general public concerning the vote and that the vote violated the Open Public Conferences Act.

There was additionally an effort to recall Hen and two different board members, costs that are at present being reviewed by the Washington Supreme Court docket.

Hen mentioned he sticks by the vote, a call he mentioned was made based mostly on his conscience and sustaining particular person rights for residents. He mentioned it was a tough transfer that had adversarial results, nevertheless it hasn’t had an impression on his capability to serve on the board.

“I informed my fellow board members that should you didn’t vote with me and didn’t agree with me, that’s simply positive. I’ll nonetheless love you, I’ll nonetheless work with you, and we’ll simply do higher,” he mentioned.