Voters in the 5th Legislative District should re-elect Rep. Paul Graves, R-Fall City, to the state House.

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Paul Graves is a legislative leader, not just a Republican leader.

He votes his conscience and makes choices that sometimes anger his party but reflect the views of his constituents in eastern King County’s 5th Legislative District. He stood with the people, rather than with backroom machinations, when voting no on the rushed proposal to keep legislative records away from the public. He had even offered an alternative that would have helped his colleagues on both sides of the political aisle avoid a voter backlash.

Voters should return Graves to the Legislature for another term.

The ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee has spent much of his career representing foster children in court. He was born and raised in Maple Valley and now lives in Fall City.

He has been an advocate for education funding that helps children prepare for college and work. He says the next steps include more mental-health assistance for all students and career guidance for high school students. Graves agrees that the Legislature needs to finish fully paying for special education in Washington’s public schools.

He also has been thinking creatively about policy in the areas of housing, homelessness and drug treatment.

His main opponent, Issaquah School Board director Lisa Callan, a Democrat, could also become an asset in the Legislature. But she had few concrete ideas about what should be done, promising to bring her engineer’s eye to solving problems.

Callan is someone to watch, but voters should keep Graves in the state Legislature.