Residents in the 44th Legislative District are lucky to have three candidates with solid public-service experience vying for the open House Position 2 seat.

But of the three on the Aug. 4 primary ballot, Democrat Anne Anderson has a slight edge over fellow Democrat April Berg.

Anderson has an eyes-wide-open view of the daunting pandemic-caused budget crisis. She would protect key priorities of education and heath care as the state considered budget cuts.

“Before we even have a discussion about a tax increase for our middle-class families, our working families, we need to put everything on the table and make sure we’ve done everything we can to tighten our belt,” said Anderson, who is the former executive director of a statewide crime victims advocacy organization. She previously ran the Lake Stevens Food Bank.

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That said, she wants reforms to the state’s tax system because its reliance on sales tax is too regressive. She is open to finding new revenue that does not burden lower-income people, such as the capital gains tax.

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Berg, a former business owner, is well qualified as an elected Everett School Board member and member of the Mill Creek Planning Commission. In an interview, she spoke mostly about finding new revenue sources, including looking at increasing the state’s debt but little about what will need to be cut.

The Republican, Mark A. James, is a Marysville City Council member, Snohomish County planning commissioner and business owner, also with extensive community service. He would tackle the budget with all cuts.

Voters should elect Anne Anderson for House Position 2.

Correction: This post was corrected to reflect that Anderson is the former, not current, executive director of a statewide crime victims advocacy organization.