Voters in the 47th Legislative District should choose Kent Democrat Debra Entenman to represent them in state House Position 1.

Share story

Southeast King County voters in the 47th Legislative District have a promising choice for state representative in Debra Entenman.

A Democrat living in Kent’s East Hill area, Entenman was raised in low-income housing, graduated from the county’s inaugural Head Start program and studied political science at Seattle University. She is district director for U.S. Rep. Adam Smith.

Entenman would be a strong advocate for education and efforts to address mental-health and addiction issues.

Why we endorse

Read editorial page editor Kate Riley’s column about the editorial board’s endorsement process and criteria. Go to

Incumbent Mark Hargrove is a Covington Republican who has served since 2011 and also instructs pilots for Boeing. His support for business and fiscal responsibility is appreciated.

But in discussing the state’s response to mental health, addiction and homelessness issues, Hargove placed blame on dysfunctional families. Family crises are often a factor in homelessness, but mental illness and addiction may occur regardless of domestic situation.

To improve response to these parallel crises, the Legislature must be informed by science and best practices, not ideology. Hargrove was also part of a divisive, wrongheaded effort to roll back the state’s transgender bathrooms rule.

Also troubling was his support for a bill that would have partly exempted the Legislature from the state Public Records Act if it weren’t vetoed. Despite statewide outcry, he still defends it as “reasonable.”

Entenman supports open records and public disclosure.

Voters who support Entenman for House Position 1 should press her to reconsider her opposition to charter schools, which are performing well in her district, and her willingness to break the cornerstone of McCleary school-funding reforms by removing local levy limits.