Christopher Hurst, Democrat, and Cathy Dahlquist, Republican, are the best candidates for the two seats for state representative in the 31st Legislative District, representing Auburn, Bonney Lake, Buckley, Enumclaw, Sumner and Edgewood in King and Pierce counties.
In Position 2, incumbent Rep. Hurst, a retired police officer, has been one of the handful of House Democratic moderates, dubbed the “Roadkill Caucus,” (named because they are in the middle of the road, and can get run over). In 2011, he and seven others in the House defied party leadership to support urgent reform of workers’ compensation. The reform was needed to avoid sharp increases in payroll taxes that would have raised the cost of employing workers. In 2012, the same Democratic group joined Republicans in reducing the subsidy for early retirement in pension plans for new state employees.
For pushing these budget-related reforms, the roadkill Democrats took some damage from their caucus and from some traditional Democratic groups. Three of the eight are not running for re-election. Hurst is, and he deserves to be re-elected.
Rep. Dahlquist, who runs an architectural business with her husband, should remain in Position 1. She was on the Enumclaw School Board before being elected to the House two years ago.
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In that time, she has supported the same budget-related reforms Hurst championed, while pushing for the cause closest to her heart: education. She supports an “education first” budget and public charter schools, and is a good fit for the district.