State Rep. Teri Hickel was a quick study in her first year in the Legislature. She deserves re-election.

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IN a highly competitive race for a 30th Legislative District House seat, incumbent state Rep. Teri Hickel has earned the trust of voters. She deserves two more years in Position 2 to help fix the many challenges facing her South King County and North Pierce County constituents.

The Republican has deep roots in Federal Way’s civic fabric and literally has a key to the city due to her work in leadership development. She ran for the Legislature in 2015 after the death of Democratic state Rep. Roger Freeman, and she proved to be a quick study in her first year in Olympia.

Hickel has focused on fixing the state’s broken education-financing model, which leaves districts like Federal Way at a disadvantage, and she effectively channels her constituents’ angst about intractable traffic congestion.

Fixing education finance and complying with the state Supreme Court’s McCleary ruling likely will require bipartisan compromise, and Hickel should be open to new revenue if it would solve the $3.5 billion-per-biennium education funding gap. She’s done a good job of listening and learning about a complex problem that leaves Federal Way with a challenge hiring teachers.

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Overall, Hickel is a smart, informed and moderate voice for a district that swings between electing Republicans and Democrats. She is pro-abortion rights and supports a $12 state minimum wage. She said she’ll vote yes on Initiative 1491, a reasonable gun-control measure on the November ballot. She strongly opposes an income tax.

Her opponent, Democrat Kristine Reeves, has a compelling personal story coming out of foster care with the “gravitational pull of education” to gain her master’s degree and get a good job working on military issues in state government. But Reeves has wide knowledge gaps on important policy areas, particularly education, and she has a thin civic résumé in her first run for office. She could be a strong candidate for office in the future.

Hickel is the better choice.