In the race for state Senate, District 1, incumbent Derek Stanford is the best choice.

The former state representative, data scientist and statistician takes a practical and analytical approach to current issues. His data-driven decision-making will be valuable as state lawmakers wrestle with tough issues in the years ahead.

Stanford, who earned his Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Washington, owns a small data science consulting business. His experience gives him valuable insight into the challenges faced by the state’s small businesses. He is well grounded in the issues of the district, which includes Brier, Bothell and most of Mountlake Terrace.

Seattle Times editorial board endorsements: Election 2020

In an interview with editorial board members, Stanford’s responses to questions about balancing the state budget were practical and measured. He favored careful consideration of potential revenue increases while cutting the budget with an eye on government efficiency. He argued against slashing social programs at a time when many Washingtonians are struggling.

The Bothell Democrat served in the House of Representatives from 2011-19, when he was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Guy Palumbo, D-Maltby.

In the Senate, he serves on the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee; Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee; and the Labor and Commerce Committee.

Stanford expressed thoughtful and nuanced views about wildfire management and police reforms. His proposal for protecting property owners from losing their homes in bankruptcy proceedings deserves further consideration by his peers.

In contrast, Stanford’s opponent, Dr. Art Coday, R-Woodinville, offered more simplistic and ideological suggestions, particularly in areas of finance. In response to a question about Washington’s tax structure, for example, he asserted that “all taxes are regressive” and advocated for “a gentle reduction of taxes in general” to lower the cost of living. His ideas lacked the practicality and depth of an effective legislator.

Voters should return Stanford for a second term.