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At a time when political divisiveness seems to have hit an all-time high, and rivals engage in mudslinging and one-upmanship as frequently as the weather changes, it was refreshing to find two candidates who treated each other with respect and civility, and kept their race focused on the issues.

Spencer Boudreau and Christine Schott are running to fill the seat left open by Ken Botero, an eight-year veteran of the Longview council.

Both are from Longview; both have worked with city government (although in different ways); both are committed to working on solutions to some of the area’s tougher issues: homelessness, drug addiction, economic development and the city’s water.

Both candidates support the Pacific Coast Fertilizer project, and both want to add more officers to the Longview Police Department roster.

Schott said she has life experience that her 19-year-old opponent doesn’t. It’s not about his age, she said, but the fact that she has responsibilities related to raising a family. She lost her home and business in the 2008 recession and she grappled with how to deal with her daughter’s years-long struggle with addiction. Her daughter has now been clean six years.

While Boudreau and Schott have each served on boards and committees, and each has worked to better Longview, we believe Schott’s greater experience matters.

Not long from now, we know Boudreau will have the skills and experience needed to serve the public as an elected official. We just don’t believe he’s there yet.

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