Voters in the 31st Legislative District should return state Rep. Morgan Irwin, R-Enumclaw, to the state House.

Share story

The 31st Legislative District has a history of electing independent-thinking representatives who excel at working across party lines.

State Rep. Morgan Irwin, a first-term Republican lawmaker from Enumclaw, fits that mold. Voters should return Irwin to the Legislature for another two years.

A Seattle police officer, Irwin previously served on the Enumclaw City Council, giving him a leg up when it comes to understanding how government works. He is well-studied on a variety of state policy issues, with his law-enforcement background lending an important perspective to discussions about mental-health care and public safety.

He is appropriately focused on holding agencies such as Sound Transit accountable for the cost of transportation projects. But he also understands the need to invest in transit, something he said the Puget Sound region should have started building 40 years ago.

His opposition to further gun regulation is out of step with this editorial board’s position. Yet it matches the views of many voters in his district, which includes rural areas in Southeast King and Northeast Pierce counties, as well as the communities of Sumner, Bonney Lake, Enumclaw, Lake Tapps, Buckley, South Prairie and parts of Auburn and Edgewood.

Irwin made a serious mistake this year by siding with a majority of his colleagues to exempt the Legislature from the state’s Public Records Act, a vote he says he regrets. Going forward, he should prioritize government accountability not just for state and local agencies, but also for himself and his fellow state lawmakers.

Despite that misstep, voters should re-elect Irwin, an affable and thoughtful lawmaker who is a good fit for the 31st district.