Cory Wright of Ellensburg said he’d like to focus on economic issues if selected as a Kittitas County commissioner.

Wright, Ann Anderson and Mike Lowe have submitted their names to replace outgoing Commissioner Paul Jewell. Jewell will step down June 30 to take a job with the Washington State Association of Counties.

The Kittitas County Republican Party will forward three names to county commissioners to fill the position, and is still accepting candidates. The Daily Record spoke with Anderson and Lowe in a story earlier this week.

Wright went to college at Central Washington University and then attended California Maritime Academy, becoming a harbor pilot upon graduation. He then worked in the stevedoring industry in Oakland and Tacoma where he helped open the Pierce County Terminal.

From there, he worked at Crowley Maritime in positions that included quality control, health and safety management, sales and business development. He is the sixth generation of his family to live in Ellensburg.

Wright said his experience working on the port district committee in the last year has shown him the need for the county to attract outside investment and to manage growth population in areas like housing and funding for basic services. He said his skills in personnel and budget management and government advocacy make him good fit for the commissioner position.

He said it is important to cultivate the airport’s relationship with Central Washington University, and to support aircraft for firefighting and emergency response at Bowers Field. Industrial development at the airport is important, he said.

“We’ve had a great investment out there with services plugged in for industrial development that at this point really haven’t taken off,” Wright said. “That’s property that we’re in short supply of in this county right now and I think we need to a better job of marketing that.”

He said he’s also interested in water and land-use issues.

If selected, Wright said he will run for commissioner in 2019 and 2020.

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