Patty Kuderer should be elected to the 48th District to keep doing the work she started as an appointed representative.
STATE Rep. Patty Kuderer, who was appointed last year to finish a legislative term representing the 48th Legislative District, has already proven her effectiveness as the primary sponsor of three bills that passed with bipartisan support. Voters should send Kuderer back to Olympia for another term.
The attorney and former PTA president from Bellevue says education and transportation are the top two issues in her district, but she is knowledgeable about a variety of concerns facing state government. The Democrat is passionate about the environment and for using tax incentives to help small businesses.
She has a long way to go to fill the shoes of her highly effective predecessor, Democrat Ross Hunter, the former House budget chair who left his seat to become director of the state Department of Early Learning. But she takes a similar pragmatic and open-minded approach on the question of how the Legislature should finish its work reforming the way the state pays for public schools.
Kuderer says levy reform and statewide teacher bargaining should be on the table, as well as possibly a capital-gains tax and some kind of carbon tax with money going toward education. She is committed to helping reach a solution during the 2017 legislative session to the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision on basic-education funding.
Her opponent, Libertarian Michelle Darnell from Kirkland, would caucus with the Republicans if elected to the Legislature. She doesn’t accept the premise that the McCleary decision represents a funding challenge for the state. Darnell believes the Legislature needs to cut spending in other areas to free up money for education, adopt more education-policy reforms and offer more choice to families, including vouchers. The legal assistant and mediator is passionate about many issues, but lacks previous government or public-service experience, except for volunteering at her church and testifying in Olympia during the home-loan foreclosure crisis.
Kuderer deserves another term in the Legislature.