Forward-looking incumbents are a good choice in tough times.

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Several Eastside lawmakers face spirited competition in battles for the state Legislature this year. A few forward-looking incumbents are hitting their stride. Our recommendations:

5th District (Eastern King County, including Sammamish, Fall City, North Bend):

State Sen. Cheryl Pflug has earned another term. The Maple Valley Republican is a workhorse reflective of the values of her rural-suburban district. Pflug’s voting record eludes partisanship. When her GOP colleagues walked out last year after voting against scientifically accurate sex-education legislation, Pflug was one of two Republicans to stay and vote in favor of it. Votes for crane-safety legislation, domestic-partnership rights and a constitutionally protected rainy-day fund are reflective of Pflug’s political prowess.

Rep. Jay Rodne, R-North Bend, is the better choice for House Position 1. An experienced lawmaker who pledges to deal with the state’s mushrooming deficit through strict prioritizing, Rodne is needed in the Legislature. His opponent, John Viebrock, doesn’t make a compelling case for change.

The choice for House Position 2 is Rep. Glenn Anderson, R-Fall City. Despite the growing presence of Democratic lawmakers on the Eastside, Anderson has won three terms and the respect of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. This is because he offers experience and a sharp fiscal eye. Veteran teacher David Spring is a worthy opponent, but not a better choice.

45th District (East King County, including Kirkland, Redmond, Duvall and Carnation):

Toby Nixon, R-Kirkland, is our choice in Position 1. Nixon served in the state House from 2002 to 2007 when he failed in a bid for a Senate seat. Nixon is one of the smartest minds on critical issues of the day, ranging from renewable energy to transparency in government.

As head of the Washington Coalition for Open Government, a private, nonprofit government watchdog, Nixon served as the public’s conscience opposing efforts by government agencies to conceal their activities.

For Position 2, Rep. Larry Springer, D-Kirkland, deserves re-election. Springer is a hardworking and thoughtful counterweight in a district where conservative and liberal values collide. He was instrumental in pushing the state to invest more in affordable housing.

48th District (parts of Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Medina, Clyde Hill and Yarrow Point):

Position 1 rightfully belongs to Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, a bright light on education and fiscal policy. Few work harder or smarter than Hunter, who is chairman of the House Finance Committee. At a time when lawmakers will need to make tough financial choices, his opponent, Charles Lapp, makes a weak case for change.

In Position 2, Deb Eddy, D-Kirkland, has earned another term in office. A thoughtful advocate for transportation and education, Eddy was part of the leadership that finally brokered a deal on rebuilding Highway 520. Eddy’s opponent, Ronald Fuller, cannot match the incumbent’s expertise.