first_imgWhen longtime Republican state Sen. Don Benton announced he was retiring, state Rep. Paul Harris thought briefly about running to replace the senator.It was a fleeting thought, Harris said, and it clarified how much he enjoys serving in the House.“I’m really happy with where I’m at. I think I’m respected by my colleagues, and it’s a great fit for me and the district,” Harris said.Now, he’s focused on staying. The Republican from Vancouver is seeking re-election to his fourth term and is facing a challenge from Democrat Martin Hash.If re-elected, Harris would serve as a ranking member on the House Education Committee. He’s been meeting with a group of lawmakers during the interim to discuss the looming public school funding crisis the state is facing.Harris said he is hopeful that an uptick in the economy along with a levy swap will be enough to adequately fund the state’s public school system.He also would continue to work to raise the smoking age to 21 and look to lower the amount of milligrams of opioids that could be administered to patients.last_img read more