Voters in the 41st Legislative District should pick My-Linh Thai for House, Position No. 2, because of her knowledge about education policy and finances.

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In a race with three strong candidates with impressive credentials, My-Linh Thai stands out as a best choice for the 41st Legislative District, which stretches east along Interstate 90 from Mercer Island to Lake Sammamish.

Thai’s experience on the Bellevue School Board has given her keen insights on where the state is still falling short on education funding, from special education to school counselors and social-emotional support. The Democrat has worked on racial equity and achievement gaps statewide through the Washington State School Directors’ Association.

Her opposition to charter schools is wrong, but she’s right about keeping limits on local school tax levies.

Why we endorse

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

Her Democratic opponent, Mercer Island City Council member Wendy Weiker, is also an accomplished public servant. She supports charter schools but wrongly believes local voters should be able to approve higher levies than the law allows. The Puget Sound Energy executive is business-friendly and was endorsed by retiring Rep. Judy Clibborn.

Republican Michael Appleby is a business owner and local PTA leader. He ran and lost two years ago and says he has been studying the issues. His No. 1 issue is education, and he is concerned that increased funding has not made enough of a difference in graduation rates and test scores. He thinks the state should spend more money on special education, middle school counselors and reserves.

Thai, who has worked as a pharmacist and is a refugee from Vietnam, is also concerned about homelessness. She says she is strongly swayed by data when making complex policy decisions.

Thai and Weiker support the proposed gun-control and carbon-fee initiatives, and repealing the death penalty. Appleby would vote against the carbon-fee initiative, is undecided on the gun initiative and is against a repeal. All three agree the Legislature failed miserably by voting to exempt itself from the state Public Records Act.

Voters should pick Thai as their next state representative.