By Katya Yefimova Herald Writer
Democratic state Rep. Ruth Kagi has served the state for 14 years, and two Republican challengers say it’s time for a change of direction.
Kagi will attempt to hold on to her seat in the 32nd Legislative District, Position 2, against Eric Alvey and Robert Reedy.
The primary election is Aug. 7. The top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.
The district includes Shoreline, part of northwest Seattle, Lynnwood, part of Mountlake Terrace, south Edmonds, Woodway, and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County.
Kagi first won a seat in the Legislature in 1998 and has spent much of her time working on issues related to children and families. She is the head of the Early Learning and Human Services Committee. She lived in Lake Forest Park, but her home was cut out of her district during redistricting. She has recently moved to Seattle to keep her seat.
Kagi said she has tackled a variety of issues during her time in the Legislature, including drug sentencing reform and implementing stricter safety requirements for trucks.
“I have the experience to make good decisions in a very tough fiscal environment and not just arbitrarily cut programs,” she said.
Alvey, of Seattle, said Kagi isn’t addressing broader issues.
“She focuses on children. That’s her specialty and she’s done a good job, but it’s definitely time for some fresh eyes in the Legislature,” he said.
Alvey’s priorities are jobs and education.
If elected, he said he would aim to streamline state government by reviewing the many commissions created by the state to fulfill specific roles and eliminating the ones that are no longer needed. He wants to implement the recommendations made by the State Auditor’s Office to lower government spending.
“We need to allow for some creativity so people feel more empowered to do things on their own,” he said.
That’s also Alvey’s approach to education: He supports charter schools and educational programs that help students who struggle in traditional classrooms.
Reedy, of Mountlake Terrace, said he would focus on the economy if elected. “I believe that the current Legislature’s priorities are backwards: People (are) losing their homes, their jobs and businesses, yet all our Legislature can be proud of is gay marriage. Ask yourself, is that a real priority, or is putting supper on the table more important,” he said in an email.
He said he would work to provide tax cuts for small businesses to stimulate the economy.
What’s the job?
At stake is a two-year term as a state representative serving Legislative District 32, Position 2. The annual salary is $42,106. The district includes Shoreline, part of northwest Seattle, Lynnwood, part of Mountlake Terrace, south Edmonds, Woodway, and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County.
Party: Republican Party
Experience: Started as a laborer in the construction industry and worked his way up; studied accounting and management.
Experience: Served in the Legislature for 14 years with a focus on early learning and child welfare
Residence: Mountlake Terrace
Experience: Served on various boards and committees