Voters should re-elect state Sen. Steve Hobbs, a moderate Democrat from Lake Stevens who isn’t afraid to buck his party or offer up his own ideas to try to broker a compromise.

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Some politicians are quick to criticize ideas they don’t like, but slow to provide alternatives.

State Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, operates differently. Voters in the 44th Legislative District, which includes Snohomish, Lake Stevens, Mill Creek and part of Marysville, should return him to the state Senate.

As a moderate Democrat, Hobbs thinks long and hard before voting for any type of tax. Yet when he hasn’t liked other lawmakers’ ideas for taxing carbon emissions or paying for transportation projects, he hasn’t just said no. Rather, he’s introduced his own middle-of-the road plans aimed at finding consensus.

That type of thinking is becoming too rare in politics. Hobbs’ skill at collaborating with others while sticking to his principles are good reasons to re-elect him to this Snohomish County swing district.

Hobbs faces two opponents. Republican Doug Roulstone, a retired Naval officer who served as commanding officer of an aircraft carrier, is an accomplished community volunteer. The other is Libertarian Jeremy Fitch, who runs a home automation business.

Both challengers have their strong points, but they lack Hobbs’ depth of knowledge about statewide issues ranging from transportation to education to budgeting.

While Hobbs made a grievous error earlier this year by voting for a bill to exempt lawmakers from the state’s Public Records Act, neither challenger makes a good enough case to unseat him.

Now the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Hobbs previously helped bring hundreds of millions of dollars in transportation projects to Snohomish County through his work as a negotiator on the 2015 transportation package.

Voters should send Hobbs back to the Senate for another term.