THE appointed incumbent in the 33rd Legislative District, Position 2, House race has a slight edge over her challengers.
Democrat Mia Su-Ling Gregerson, a lawmaker whose career is just beginning, shows promise. A former SeaTac City Council member and mayor who rose to local prominence as an advocate for that city’s $15 minimum-wage initiative, embraced by voters. Labor and progressive interests behind that effort supported Gregerson’s appointment to the Legislature last December when Dave Upthegrove, D-Des Moines, won a seat on the Metropolitan King County Council.
Gregerson’s record demonstrates her potential to be a thoughtful lawmaker. Despite her near-perfect voting score with the Washington State Labor Council in her first session, Gregerson displays indications of independence.
For instance, she told The Times’ editorial board she would have voted for a controversial bill mandating the use of test scores in teacher evaluations — if Democratic-party leaders had allowed it to come to the floor of the House — despite opposition from the state teachers’ union.
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Gregerson deserves a chance to fulfill her promise.
Republican Jeanette Burrage is a Des Moines City Council member who, as King County Superior Court judge, is perhaps best remembered for banning female attorneys from wearing pants years ago. Burrage maintains the dress code was the result of a misunderstanding and notes she quickly dropped it, but it is hard to forget the many attorney complaints about her qualifications.
Independent Les Thomas, meanwhile, has an extensive civic résumé — five years in the Legislature, several months on the Metropolitan King County Council, 11 years on the Kent City Council. He says a return to the state House is on his “bucket list,” but he lacks a vision, program or rationale for his campaign.
Gregerson appears to be the best of the three.
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).