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FOUR years ago, The Times recommendation for the state Senate seat in the 32nd Legislative District argued the best choice for the office offered deep local-government experience.

That assessment has not changed, although the challenger has. Shoreline Deputy Mayor Chris Eggen, a Democrat, is the better choice over the incumbent, state Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, who is seeking a second term. Chase’schallenger comes from inside her own party.

The district, which includes portions of northwest Seattle, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and Woodway, could benefit from a candidate with substantial local-government experience.

Chase is a long-serving member of the Legislature with a reputation for strong party loyalties and a feisty style. Eggen argues there is precious little legislation adopted with her sponsorship.

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Challenger Eggen is rated “very good” by The Municipal League of King County, compared to Chase’s “good” rating. Eggen knows what is ahead, especially with education. He is open to new revenue options to fund the education financing gap at the heart of the state Supreme Court’s McCleary ruling.

He is skeptical of the expense and mechanics of Initiative 1351, which would reduce classroom size with no revenue attached. He also understands the need for a workable role for student test scores in teacher evaluations and eligibility for federal funding.

Eggen’s exposure to local government dates to 2006 and to service on the Shoreline Housing Advisory Committee. He was elected to the Shoreline City Council in 2008.

He understands local municipal management, utility issues and transportation topics. Puget Sound cities need strong representation in Olympia.

Eggen is an experienced option for Democratic voters in District 32. A third candidate in the race, Republican Robert Reedy offers no evidence he is qualified.

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

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