Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen should be elected to the Legislature because of her government and business experience and skills.

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Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen excels at bringing people together to reach consensus on what government actions are best for her city. Her skills are sorely needed in the state Legislature. Voters should elect Walen to represent the 48th Legislative District in the state House of Representatives.

A Kirkland City Council member since 2009 and mayor since 2014, she has more than government service to recommend her. Walen has more than 20 years experience as a business executive at auto dealerships in Kirkland and Seattle, supporting the local economy with family-wage jobs. She knows how to negotiate and write a budget, and understands how laws and taxes can impact families and local businesses. Walen is knowledgeable about regional and state issues, is president of the Sound Cities Association and serves on the Puget Sound Regional Council.

Her opponent, Cindi Bright, is a worthy candidate with executive experience as well. But she would benefit from more experience in the public sector and a sharpening of her ideas on public policy. Both are Democrats and might just be the most collegial opponents on the campaign trail this year.

Walen’s top issues include sensible gun regulations, affordable housing, supporting small businesses and health care. Correctly, she says the Legislature’s work on education funding is not finished, calling for more dollars for special education, school nurses and counselors. She would like to see some property tax relief while supporting a capital-gains tax. She wants to end the death penalty and supports the tolling on I-405.

Politicians and interest groups across the political spectrum have endorsed Walen and contributed to her campaign. She promises to be a thoughtful and careful lawmaker, if elected, and the champion of working people.

Voters in the 48th Legislative District should elect Walen and let her demonstrate her collaborative leadership style on a bigger stage.