Incumbent state Reps. Mark Hargrove and Pat Sullivan deserve re-election to the state House from the 47th Legislative District.
In Position 1, Hargrove, a Republican from Covington, is seeking a second term. An instructor pilot for Boeing, Hargrove is part of the GOP effort fueling fundamental reform of how the state does business, including removing a cost-of-living adjustment to the state’s Plan 1 pensions and adding scrutiny to the billion-dollar health-insurance system for school employees.
Though socially conservative, Hargrove has a bipartisan spirit. He worked with Democrats on a charter-schools bill and teamed up with state Rep. Sam Hunt to designate innovation public schools.
Hargrove would protect the two-thirds majority required for legislative votes to raise taxes or close tax loopholes, and would protect education funding.
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Hargrove’s opponent, Kent firefighter Bud Sizemore, has a strong civic résumé that includes serving on the Covington City Council. But the Democrat is too resistant to reforms necessary for this state’s economic recovery. Sizemore opposes changes to public pensions and overhauling K-12 health-insurance programs, showing an inability or unwillingness to buck his party for change.
In Position 2, Pat Sullivan deserves to return to Olympia for a fifth term in office. The Democrat has earned a reputation for independence and strong leadership, two attributes that contributed to the Legislature passing a budget with zero cuts to public-education funding.
Sullivan is a key vote on education-reform legislation and last session helped rescue the innovation-schools bill authored by his Republican colleague, Hargrove.
As a member of the House Democratic leadership, Sullivan played a key role bringing together Democratic moderates and Republicans on critical reforms to the K-12 health-insurance system, pensions and workers’ compensation. The Covington lawmaker serves on two education funding task forces charged with helping the Legislature identify reforms and funding to comply with the state Supreme Court’s mandate to bolster education funding.
Challenger Andy Massagli is a Republican from Kent lacking legislative experience. Sullivan is by far the better choice.