A daunting to-do list next year in the Legislature, which includes a resolution of the Supreme Court’s school funding mandate, has not discouraged candidates for the three races in the Legislature’s 1st District.
The 1st District, split between Snohomish and King counties, covers the cities of Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Bothell and part of Kirkland and south Snohomish County communities west of High Bridge Road.
The retirement of state Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, who was first elected to her 1st District seat in 1992, means open races in two district positions. State Rep. Luis Moscoso, a Democrat, who has held Position 2 since 2010, is running for McAuliffe’s Senate seat and faces Republican Mindie Wirth and Democrat Guy Palumbo.
Rep. Derek Stanford, Democrat, who also has held his Position 1 seat since 2010, is challenged by fellow Democrat Kazuaki “Kaz” Sugiyama and Republicans Neil Thannisch and Brian Travis.
Moscoso’s run for the Senate opened his position to five candidates: Democrats Aaron Moreau-Cook, Darshan Rauniyar, Shelley Kloba and Kyoko Matsumoto Wright and Republican Jim Langston.
For the 1st District Senate seat, The Herald recommends Mindie Wirth and Luis Moscoso in the primary.
Wirth graduated from Bothell High School and earned a business degree at UW-Bothell. She currently works at Microsoft and serves as co-president of the Northshore PTSA.
Wirth said the Legislature should put education funding first and supports past work by the Republican Party and that she is committed to a collaborative process. Wirth said state funding needs can be met without new revenue, eliminating all tax breaks or relying solely on a levy swap.
Regarding I-405, Wirth objects to tolling on I-405, wants to restore 2-plus carpool lanes, add lane capacity, implement more bus rapid transit and additional park-and-ride stalls.
Moscoso, a former Community Transit bus driver, has been deeply involved in transportation issues, serving as vice-chairman on the House Transportation Committee and helping to increase the county’s share of funding in the 2015 transportation package.
Moscoso believes the state’s tax structure is unfair and is in need of structural changes to provide revenue for education as well as necessary state services. He advocates reviewing corporate tax breaks and passing a capital gains tax for the state’s wealthiest residents to support education.
Moscoso also successfully shepherded a Voting Rights Act through the House, but the bill did not receive a vote in the Senate.
For Position 1, The Herald recommends Derek Stanford and Brian Travis for the primary.
Stanford, who runs a data science consulting business, believes that the Legislature will need to find new revenue to support education and other state spending. He calls the current system “extremely regressive, both for people and for businesses.” In seeking a compromise on revenue, Stanford said he is open to putting a revenue reform package to a referendum for voter approval, as long as education funding is not delayed.
Stanford also believes a greater emphasis on the state’s water supply is necessary to assure a supply for agriculture, municipal needs and protecting fish runs and tribal treaty rights.
Travis, a hotel night auditor, says he represents what he calls “food bank Republicans,” those who hold one or two jobs but still struggle to make ends meet. Among his priorities: He wants to remove tolls on all highways, repeal and replace the business and occupation tax, and repeal the state’s prohibition on rent control.
Travis believes that the state Supreme Court’s mandate on education funding is unconstitutional and that funding for schools does not need to be increased.
For Position 2, The Herald recommends Jim Langston and Shelley Kloba.
Langston, who with his family founded several childcare learning centers, was a founding member of the Monroe Public Schools Foundation. While not convinced new sources of revenue will be needed to meet education funding needs, Langston said he will keep an open mind. Langston also is waiting to review information now being collected on education funding.
Kloba, who currently serves on the Kirkland City Council and also worked as the state PTA’s legislative director, says full funding for education is long overdue and would be her focus. She is supportive of a levy swap proposed last year by former Rep. Ross Hunter.
To pay for education needs as well as public safety and social services, Kloba believes tax loopholes that benefit corporations need to be closed.
About our primary recommendations
For the Aug. 2 primary elections, The Herald Editorial Board is recommending those legislative candidates in each race we believe are the best candidates, despite their differing positions, to move on to the Nov. 8 general election. The recommendations are based on a review of submitted statements and statements in the voters’ pamphlet.
Under the state’s top-two primary rules, the two candidates receiving the most votes, regardless of party, move on to the general election.
Endorsements for legislative and other races will follow before the general election.