The Seattle Times editorial board supports Katrina Asay, Republican, in her bid for the Washington House of Representatives seat in District 30, Position 2, being vacated by Skip Priest, R-Federal Way.

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IN the 30th Legislative District, representing Federal Way, Milton, Algona and Pacific, state Republican Rep. Skip Priest is giving up his seat to run for mayor of Federal Way. The best candidate to replace him is Republican Katrina Asay, a real-estate agent and mayor of Milton.

“Until the spending in Olympia is under control, we cannot effectively deal with any of the other important issues,” her website says. Many candidates are saying this. Asay’s distinction is that as mayor of Milton she has dealt with government budgets and cuts already, as well as mandates, lawsuits and other headaches of the public sector.

Of the five candidates running, Asay is not the smoothest talker. But there is a directness to her, a toughness. She and her husband ride motorcycles. She has aggressively been knocking on doors in Federal Way, which dominates the district and where she is not widely known. She has raised the second-most money of all the candidates, most of it from individuals, and she is running hard.

Of her Republican opponents, none has raised much money or claims as many homes visited as Asay.

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Ed Barney is the only one with an elected position: He is on the Federal Way School Board, where he once made the news by voting against showing Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” in the schools.

Jerry Galland, a millwright at Boeing, is running for the seat after having led an effort to block an annexation by Federal Way.

Anthony Kalchik, a successful immigrant from Ukraine, owns a real-estate company.

The lone Democrat in the race, Carol Gregory, runs a nonprofit social agency called BuRSST for Prosperity. She was president of the Washington Education Association from 1975-1981 and worked later in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Gregory has raised the most money, much of it from unions, trial lawyers and the Democratic Party. She approaches the state’s budget problem as one of too little tax revenue rather than too much spending — not the approach we favor, especially while the state is in a recession.

Our support is for Katrina Asay.