My-Linh Thai is a compassionate, dependable advocate for Washington’s schoolchildren. She is the best choice for the 41st Legislative District, Position 2.

The former Bellevue School Board member is clearly driven to ensure all Washington kids have equal access to an excellent education. She lends important perspective to the unfinished work of honoring the state’s constitutional responsibility to provide basic education for every child.

Thai’s experience as a Vietnamese immigrant and refugee give her valuable insight into the needs of immigrant students and families, as is evidenced in her legislative priorities. Among the bills she sponsored in her first term were proposals to ensure adequate school lunch time, to create incentives for bilingual educators and to review kindergarten readiness assessments for potential cultural bias.

A cheat sheet for the Aug. 4, 2020, primary election: The Seattle Times editorial board’s recommendations

Of Thai’s three challengers, Harlan Gallinger, Issaquah School Board member and emergency room doctor, is the strongest candidate.

In a meeting with editorial board members, Gallinger, who is running as an independent, offered sharp criticisms of party politics and the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in regard to school closures. His views were considered and clear.

But Gallinger demurred when asked with which party he would caucus if elected. His response displayed either a troubling lack of candor, indecision or insufficient knowledge to effectively participate in the legislative process.

Thai’s nuanced perspective is an asset that should not be mistaken for indecisiveness. Additionally, she is more firmly rooted in the district, which ranges from Mercer Island to Lake Sammamish and includes all of Newcastle and portions of Bellevue, Renton, Issaquah and Sammamish.

Voters should return Thai to Olympia for a second term.