New district with Lynnwood, MLT appeals to newly elected lawmaker

Democratic 32nd District State Rep. Ruth Kagi has won an eighth two-year term in the Legislature, this one in a far different district than the one she has represented for 14 years.

The district that long has included Shoreline, Woodway, south Edmonds and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, now includes Lynnwood, part of Mountlake Terrace and part of northwest Seattle, while redistricting took Lake Forest Park out of the district, along with Kenmore, part of Kirkland and unincorporated areas between Kenmore and Kirkland.

She said Tuesday that she enjoyed campaigning in Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace and that most of the odd-shaped district is tied together by I-5 and related transportation issues,

Kagi defeated Republican challenger Robert Reedy of Mountlake Terrace with a lead through Wednesday of 73 percent to 27 percent. Kagi leads 66-33 percent in the Snohomish County part of the district and 78-22 in King County. In the other 32nd District contest, incumbent Democratic Rep. Cindy Ryu holds a 72-28 lead over Republican Randy Hayden of Edmonds. Ryu leads 66-33 in Snohomish County and 76-23 in the King County part of the district.

Kagi said that she is happy with the election results, not only with her own victory but also with Jay Inslee’s election as governor and the approval of the same-sex marriage referendum.

She said that voter approval of marriage equality was vindication of the Legislature’s action.

Kagi said that she was disappointed by the vote for the initiative requiring a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Legislature to increase taxes, by the passage of the initiative to establish charter schools, by the defeat of the constitutional amendment to allow state research universities to invest some non-state money in stocks and by rejection of two State advisory votes.

She said that the advisory votes meant nothing because the Legislature wasn’t going to reverse its action to eliminate tax preferences that it had eliminated by two-thirds votes of both houses.

She said that she hoped that charter schools in Washington would emulate qualities of successful charter schools from around the country rather than those of unsuccessful charter schools.

Kagi added that the Legislature has to find a way to comply with a court order to provide adequate support for public schools. She said that she expects the Legislature to present some sort of tax package to voters.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com

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