Voters should re-elect Auburn Republican Drew Stokesbary to Position 1 in the 31st. He has been a particularly effective representative during his first term.
TO get things done in Washington’s divided Legislature, where currently Republicans lead the Senate and Democrats control the House, lawmakers must be able to work across party lines.
That’s an attribute of Drew Stokesbary, an Auburn attorney and Republican seeking a second term representing the 31st Legislative District, which straddles Highway 410 from Sumner to Mount Rainier.
The Times recommends:
31st Legislative District Position 1
Strengths: Pro-education policy wonk; can work across party lines
Stokesbary has been a particularly effective representative during his first term. A thoughtful, pro-education policy wonk, he can also help the entire state by advancing education-funding reforms. ..."
Voters should re-elect Stokesbary to House Position 1. He has been a particularly effective representative during his first term. A thoughtful, pro-education policy wonk, he can also help the entire state by advancing education-funding reforms.
One example was Stokesbary’s work during the last session to pass a Democrat-led bill governing the disclosure of video footage collected by police body cameras.
Another example is Stokesbary’s condemnation of Donald Trump’s GOP nomination for president, which he calls “incredibly shameful.”
Stokesbary, a churchgoer, noted that “if you can ban Muslims, you can ban Baptists.”
More recently, Stokesbary has been part of the Republican caucus’ working group preparing to address the state’s inadequate and inequitable funding of basic education.
Stokesbary believes much of the additional revenue needed for education can come from property-tax adjustments and closing some tax breaks, such as an exemption for goods sold in interstate commerce.
Challenging Stokesbary is John Frostad, a Libertarian acupuncturist who operates a natural-health clinic in Edgewood.
Frostad believes the state needs to look first at cutting expenses to fully fund education, even though both Democrats and Republicans in Olympia agree the funding gap can’t be covered with spending cuts. He also wants to see major reforms of the state’s troublesome business-and-occupation tax and would consider using sales taxes to fund education as a last resort.
A key issue for him is criminal-justice reform, including decriminalizing many drugs.
With additional civic experience — beyond his advocacy for practitioners of East Asian medicine — and more learning about the state’s education-financing challenges, he could be a serious contender in future elections.