After the 2016 election, Chris Vance felt there was no room for him in the Republican Party. Yet he remains the same pragmatic conservative who has been involved in public policy for more than 20 years.

So, the former state Republican Party chair is running as an independent and deserves the support of voters in the GOP-held 31st Legislative District.

Unlike incumbent Republican Sen. Phil Fortunato — who seems to be more engaged in fighting the culture war than in effectively legislating — Vance has proved he is a thoughtful lawmaker. He served as a state representative from 1991 to 1993 and Metropolitan King County Council member from 1994 to 2001.

In addition to public safety and transportation, Vance said he will focus on public education, an issue on which his passion is evident and where he believes the Legislature has fallen short.

“I will fight for every available dollar to go to K-12 without cutting current human services programs and higher ed,” he said. “Every new dollar that we can get needs to go into K-12.”

Read all Seattle Times editorial board endorsements for the Aug. 2, 2022, primary
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With state revenues doubling over the last decade, there is no justification for raising taxes, Vance said, but he would push for an overhaul of the tax system and how the state funds basic services. While he said he would caucus with neither party, Vance is willing to work with the Democratic majority to arrive at legislation that benefits his constituents.

“I wouldn’t have voted for the capital gains tax; I wouldn’t have voted for their long-term care tax. I don’t like what they’ve done to police law enforcement. But at least they are serious about making policy,” he said.

Fortunato declined to meet with the editorial board. The other candidate, Clifford Knopik, has a doctorate in computer science and was inspired to run over what he says are discrepancies in the state’s COVID-19 data.

Vance’s knowledge of the issues and honest desire to develop good public policy make him the best choice.