Why I’m Running

I have worked hard to live up to your expectations, and am always available to meet with you to listen to new and innovative solutions for how we can best solve the issues facing our district and state.”

Mark Hargrove’s Family– It is Mark’s connection to and affection for his neighbors in the 47th district that brought him to his decision to run for the State House of Representatives. He was first elected in 2010. While he has been able to work effectively across party lines, he recognizes, now more than ever, the need for a systemic change in how our government process works.

Mark has come to realize that the prosperity of our country and our state is directly related to the prosperity of our families. So Mark is committed to the principles and policies that will make Washington State the best place possible to live and work and raise a family.

A Letter from Mark – Why I’m Running

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

You may be wondering why I decided to run for elected office, when I already have a pretty interesting and rewarding job.

Well, I saw what was happening in our state and was reminded of the quote by Sir Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” And I read the findings of Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor in 1787, not long after our country was founded, who noted that the average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been only about 200 years. They typically go through the following stages: from bondage to spiritual faith, to great courage, to liberty, to abundance, to complacency, to apathy, to dependence, and back into bondage.

He observed that a democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

My wife, Sandy, and I spent a week a few years ago at a rural orphanage in Zimbabwe, where they had an insane inflation rate for the previous couple of years. I have a $10 bill from Zimbabwe which, several years ago, you could use to buy food in a grocery store. I also have a $10 trillion bill printed in 2007 that is totally worthless. Just before our visit, you could not find food in any stores, because there was no money with any value. This is what happens when a government has reached the loose fiscal policy state, followed by a dictatorship.

The problem is that a government that is powerful enough to give you all the security you want is also powerful enough to tell you where to live, what car you can drive, what doctor you can see, and so on.

Ironically, the economy in Zimbabwe is now more stable because they are using U.S. dollars exclusively in their country. But I’m concerned with how fast we are printing U.S. dollars!

We became the greatest nation on the earth because our forefathers’ faith led us to liberty and prosperity. They had faith that doing the right thing, no matter what the cost, would merit God’s favor. They had faith that in freedom, the people flourish. They had faith in free market capitalism. Although they believed in the Biblical principle that if a man will not work, he will not eat, they also believed that the good American people would not let our neighbors starve.

Mark and his wife Sandy

But for the past few decades, our government has lost that faith. Instead they alarm us with crisis after crisis, stirring us to react in fear. Because we were afraid of overpopulation or that babies would be born into families that didn’t want them, we have allowed and even paid for abortions. Because we fear our pollution could destroy this amazing planet, we’ve instituted Cap and Trade and a host of other overly-restrictive ecological limits. Out of fear, we have laws upon laws to restrict every aspect of a small business trying to get started. Because we don’t have faith that our churches and our people will take care of each other, our government has now taken over much of our charity, through welfare, food stamps, etc. Because we no longer have faith in our people, our government continues to grow as they need to regulate every aspect of our lives.

Out of fear, we have been willing to give up some of our liberty to gain some security. But Benjamin Franklin warned us when he said, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security would deserve neither and lose both.”

“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security would deserve neither and lose both.” –Benjamin Franklin

Well, I am tired of living in fear. I do have faith in the all-powerful God who wants only what is best for us. I do have faith that in freedom, people thrive. I do have faith in free market capitalism. I do have faith that the people themselves are still the best ones to govern our nation and take care of each other. I want a government whose priority is to protect our lives and liberty, staying out of our way as much as possible the rest of the time. I’m not willing to slide back down the path into bondage.

With these ideas in my head, I was studying the Bible on a flight to Montreal in January, 2008, when I read the story of the boy who offered his few loaves of bread and a couple of fish to Jesus, who used them to feed 5000 people. The question I then read was, “What could God do if you just gave him what you have?” Well, an idea came into my mind, but I wasn’t convinced I should really do what I was thinking.

Then I read about Peter stepping out of the boat and walking on the water toward Jesus. The question that followed was, “What could God do with you if you were just willing to step out of the boat?”

So I decided to step out of the boat and run for the Washington State House of Representatives. Now I’m running again to represent my constituents for a fifth term, maintaining my faith in the principles that made our country great, with the intent of guiding our state back to that faith.


Mark Hargrove
State Representative, 47th Legislative District