THE three incumbents in the 45th Legislative district, a suburban swing district incorporating parts of Kirkland, Redmond and Woodinville, have proven track records that merit another term in Olympia.
State Sen. Andy Hill, a wonkish, moderate Republican from Redmond, was a calming force in the Legislature’s recent budget storms. He served as the Senate Majority Coalition’s lead budget-writer despite being a first-term rookie, and he helped channel $1 billion more into basic education without significantly raising taxes or doing damage to other vital state services.
He deserves particular credit for drawing Democrats into the Republican-led Senate budgeting process, ensuring more bipartisanship and moderation in the final result. He helped end a ruinous cycle of higher-education tuition increases, which jacked up the cost of college by 37 percent between 2008 and 2013. And he smartly leveraged federal money to reduce an intolerably large waiting list for developmental-disabilities services.
Hill represents his socially liberal district, supporting abortion rights, gay marriage and the state allowing students without legal residency status access to financial aid. In contrast to his data-driven approach, he shows a lack of curiosity about climate change and the overwhelming scientific consensus of its threats: “You can find scientists on either side.” He believes carbon should be tackled, however, to diminish U.S. dependency on foreign oil.
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Hill’s opponent, Navy veteran Matt Isenhower from Redmond, is a well-qualified, generally business-friendly Democrat. But he shows a lack of fiscal responsibility in supporting the class-size reduction Initiative 1351, which has a budget-busting $3 billion price tag, and for supporting swift cancellation of the Highway 99 tunnel project.
Hands down, Hill’s impressive first term merits him four more years.
In House Position 1, state Rep. Roger Goodman has an admirable track record of working to end sex trafficking and combating domestic violence. As chairman of the Public Safety Committee, Goodman, an attorney, also has a prolific record of tightening state drunken-driving laws. Few lawmakers have passed as many bills as Goodman, who has represented the 45th District since 2006.
Goodman’s acquiescence to his party’s hard-left positions on education funding are a serious concern. He too supports the class-size reduction Initiative 1351, yet identifies no way to pay for it.
The Seattle Times editorial board recommended his opponent, Republican businessman Joel Hussey, in their 2012 race. But Hussey’s unwillingness to disavow sleazy personal attacks on Goodman by an independent group raises questions about his temperament.
In House Position 2, Larry Springer, the owner of a Kirkland wine shop, is the House Democratic caucus’ voice of reason on business issues. Though a member of House Democratic leadership, he shows strong independence, particularly on education reform ideas that cut against the powerful state teachers union.
Springer’s deliberative, welcoming style should be a model of legislative demeanor. He has earned respect in his home community, Kirkland, and among Democratic and Republican colleagues in Olympia.
His opponent, Brendan Woodward, is a promising Republican who should stay engaged in civic life. But Springer is a steady, thoughtful, hardworking lawmaker who deserves two more years.
Voters in the 45th Legislative District are well-served by their three incumbents, Sen. Andy Hill and Reps. Roger Goodman and Larry Springer.
Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Sharon Pian Chan, Jonathan Martin, Erik Smith, Thanh Tan, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).