Incumbent state Rep. Derek Stanford, D-Bothell, has drawn an interesting challenger for the 1st Legislative District Position 1 but remains the best choice for voters this year.
Colin McMahon is a Snohomish County public defender who was a delegate for Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention. But he is running as an “independent” — he liked Sanders’ criminal-justice reform ideas.
McMahon’s thoughtful perspective is informed, he says, by a childhood disrupted by parental addiction and homelessness. He wants things to change.
Nevertheless, McMahon does not present a strong enough argument to oust Stanford, who has been a steadfast advocate for his district, including as a voice to push solutions to the bottleneck that persists on Interstate 405 and Highway 522. Stanford also wants the Legislature to revise the valuation schedule for Sound Transit motor-vehicle taxes to bring them closer to market value.
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Stanford runs a small data-science consulting business, and that data-driven approach undergirds his approach to state policy with an eye on the long term, whether it’s how to approach homelessness or the next steps on education reform. He brought up the need to be prepared for tough economic times when they return.
Disappointingly, Stanford stood against open government when he did his caucus leadership’s bidding to circumvent a public process to exempt the Legislature from the Public Records Act. That effort failed — and Stanford and other elected officials heard about it. He concedes the process was a mistake.
Also running is Republican Josh Colver, a 2017 Shoreline Christian High School graduate.
First District voters would be best served by sending Stanford back to Olympia.