The best choice for the open Senate seat in the 5th Legislative District is more evident when the former Republican officeholder endorses the Democrat in the race.

Republican state Sen. Cheryl Pflug vacated the seat when she was appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire to the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board. Pflug subsequently made it clear she did not support the Republican in the race for her Senate seat, Brad Toft.

She has endorsed Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet, a Democrat. Mullet is a small-business owner with service on local civic and community boards. He has been endorsed by Eastside mayors.

He also has substantial experience in finance via an earlier career.

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Toft’s civic résumé does not compare, and he has a complicated legal history that alarmed Pflug. Toft is not comfortable talking about his positions on controversial issues. That’s an awkward circumstance tor someone seeking to represent constituents and explain his views.

Pflug, informed and independent, had a standout legislative career representing the 5th District, which runs from Sammamish to Snoqualmie Pass. Mullet is endorsed to replace her.