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IN Washington’s 23rd Legislative District, state Rep. Drew Hansen is the best choice for Position 2, while Rep. Sherry Appleton in Position 1 has drawn no substantive challenge for the Nov. 4 election.

The district includes East Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Kingston and Silverdale.

In his three years in office, Hansen has reached across the aisle to pass meaningful bills to create jobs, improve STEM education and fix various problems caused by derelict vessels.

The Bainbridge Island attorney also demonstrates a willingness to think independently regardless of party pressure. He opposes Initiative 1351, the expensive class-size measure on the November ballot that would distract from the more urgent task of fulfilling the Washington Supreme Court’s 2012 McCleary ruling. The order already requires the Legislature to find billions of dollars to fund basic education.

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To meet that obligation, Hansen supports a mix of structural changes to the tax system and closing loopholes.

In an interview, Republican opponent Jim Olsen’s ideological conservatism seemed out of sync with the politically mixed district.

The choice to represent Position 1 is not so clear.

Rep. Sherry Appleton, a Poulsbo Democrat who has served for 10 years, proclaims herself “a flaming liberal.” She fails to identify viable sources of funding for Initiative 1351, which she supports as “more of a message.”

Washington taxpayers need lawmakers to be more critical.

Her opponent, Republican Scott Hendenhas not mounted a serious campaign against the incumbent.

He declined to participate in The Times’ editorial board meeting.

This leaves voters in the 23rd district with little choice but to vote for the only active candidate.

Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Sharon Pian Chan, Jonathan Martin, Erik Smith, Thanh Tan, Robert J. Vickers, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).

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