By Amy Daybert Herald Writer
Rep. John McCoy and his challenger Sam Wilson have different ideas about how to improve the state’s economy and education system if elected to a 38th Legislative District seat.
McCoy, D-Tulalip, is running on the Nov. 6 election ballot for a sixth term representing the district, which includes much of Everett, Marysville and Tulalip.
“I’m proud of my entire 10 years in the state Legislature and I’ve worked hard for people of the state of Washington,” said McCoy, 68. “At the end of my last term I thought I had accomplished everything that I wanted to but some things came up and I felt I wasn’t done yet.”
McCoy said he wants to continue working to increase broadband access in remote areas of the state. He sponsored a bill earlier this year that aims to bring Internet service to areas without broadband cables.
“Broadband is still at the top of my list,” he said. “Studies have shown whenever you bring broadband to areas without it that economic development gets a big boost.”
Wilson, a Republican, is an engineer and project manager at the Boeing Co. Running for the position is a responsibility, he said.
“A lot of people my age have some military experience and I don’t have that, so I see this more as a civic duty,” Wilson said. “The reason I’m running is because I want to serve the people of Washington and I want to go down to Olympia and do what I believe is best for the people of this state.”
Wilson, 31, added that he believes one role of state government is to improve the economy. Business owners have told him that running a business in the state could be easier, Wilson said.
“I think there are a lot of regulations that burden the businesses unnecessarily,” he said. “I’d like to reach out to the business owners to find out what’s working for them and what’s not working for them to see if we can change things.”
Both candidates view funding K-12 education as an important issue. Teachers and classrooms should be the last places to make cuts, Wilson said.
“You hear a lot of talk about teachers being the first thing to cut and I don’t think you could find a single resident of Washington who has that priority,” he said.
McCoy said he’d work to find ways to fund K-12 education and he is concerned about closing achievement gaps for students.
“The Legislature wants to treat every kid like they’re exactly alike and they’re not,” he said. “All these high-stakes standardized tests are hurting creativity in the classroom. Just give the teacher the goal and then turn them loose and let them use their creativity.”
McCoy added that a top priority in the district is opening a Washington State University branch campus in Everett. As the chairman of the House Technology, Energy, and Communication Committee, he also believes more work must be done to find alternative energy sources throughout the state and is particularly interested in aviation biofuels.
“We have a ready-made market in the military and Alaska Airlines and other airlines,” he said. “I would like to see Sea-Tac Airport become number one in only providing biofuels for jets.”
Wilson has enjoyed talking with people who share different ideologies. If elected, he added that he would strive for bipartisan cooperation and support.
“I’m not going to compromise my principles but if I can find something that I agree with someone from a different party on and we can work on an issue and push that issue through, then I’m more than happy to do that,” he said.
Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; email@example.com.
What’s the job?
At stake is a two-year term as a state representative serving Legislative District 38, Position 1. The annual salary is $42,106. The district includes much of Everett, Marysville and Tulalip.
Experience: He is the incumbent state representative. He began working in 2000 as general manager of the Quil Ceda Village Business Park and held the position until his retirement in August 2010. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years.
Experience: He has worked for the Boeing Company for the past eight years. He served as a precinct committee officer for the Republican Party and is a Sunday school teacher at New Life Church.