Democrat Jason Ritchie would be a new, pragmatic voice for the 5th Legislative District.
STATE Rep. Jay Rodne, R-Snoqualmie, has represented the 5th Legislative District House Position 1 since 2004. It’s time for a change. Voters should send Democrat Jason Ritchie to Olympia.
Ritchie runs a small business retrofitting homes for people with disabilities and serves on the state Independent Living Council. He would bring a vital small-business perspective to Olympia.
The Times recommends:
5th Legislative District, position 1
Strengths:Ritchie would bring a vital small-business perspective to Olympia.
Ritchie would keep middle-class taxpayers in mind when crafting a solution to fully fund basic education, accurately noting that an income tax is a “nonstarter” to meet that challenge."
Ritchie is significantly left of Rodne on most issues but has a streak of pragmatism that would help the Legislature find common ground on the 2016 Legislature’s most pressing challenge: fully funding education. He would keep middle-class taxpayers in mind when crafting a solution, accurately noting that an income tax is a “nonstarter” to resolve the education-funding mess. And he endorses necessary reforms to get the maximum value out of new education investments.
Rodne has distinguished legislative accomplishments, including the 2009 Zachery Lystedt law mandating a “concussion protocol” in youth football and major mental-health reforms last year.
But he is out of step with the social views of the 5th District. Last year, in the wake of the Paris shootings, he called Muslims “barbarians,” described Islam as “incompatible with Western civilization” and inaccurately said Obama planned to import 1.5 million Muslim immigrants. He has not walked back from offensive comments, even now.
Ritchie accurately noted that Rodne’s comments may seed xenophobic backlash for his peaceful Muslim constituents. We must hold public officials to a high standard.
Jason Ritchie is the better representative of the 5th Legislative District’s views and interests.