Chad Magendanz is the clear choice to represent the 5th Legislative District.

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Former state Rep. Chad Magendanz wants to return to the Legislature to finish the work he started on education reform. Voters should send him back to Olympia to represent the 5th Legislative District in eastern King County, from Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass.

The Republican served four years on the Issaquah School Board, is a retired Naval officer, works in software design and development, and teaches for a national computer science education program that he and a colleague started in 2009.  After two terms in the House, Magendanz ran for the state Senate in 2016 but lost to incumbent Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah.

Magendanz has deep knowledge of Washington’s education system and has been successful at working across the aisle to build coalitions. His name appears on a number of successful education bills, including as prime sponsor of the House bill to save Washington’s charter schools. His ideas about the next steps in education reform, including directing more money toward special education, nurses and school counselors, are right on target. He also wants to see more emphasis — and dollars spent — on career and technical education and early learning. Magendanz says regional pay for teachers still needs some adjustments, especially in rural areas.

His opponent, Democrat Bill Ramos, has served on the Issaquah City Council since  2015. He is a thoughtful council member and a former federal employee who worked for the Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Forest Service.

Neither Magendanz nor Ramos were in the Legislature when lawmakers voted to partly exempt the Legislature from the Public Records Act, but both served as locally elected officials who were subject to the Public Records Act and thought it was the wrong move.

Magendanz’s deep experience and leadership in education policy makes him the clear choice.