1st Legislative District, House of Representatives
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. Served by I-405 and Highways 9 and 522, transportation issues are key to constituents.
Thannisch has worked as an IT professional for 30 years and has campaigned on removing the tolls from I-405’s express lanes, calling the tolls double-taxation. Thannisch is doubtful current revenues are insufficient to cover education funding needs and believes too much is spent on administration and not in the classroom.
Stanford, who also works in IT, running a small data science consulting business, supported House legislation last session that sought a more aggressive path toward resolution of the Supreme Court mandate to fully fund education and limit the reliance on local school levies for basic ed.
Stanford says the state needs to consider reforms to a regressive tax system so that education can be funded without cuts to other state needs and without one-time budget shifts and sweeps of the capital budget and other programs. Stanford is one of a few legislators vocal about protecting the public works trust fund that cities and counties rely on for low-interest loans for projects; it’s been a frequent target of lawmakers scrounging to fill budget holes.
Recognizing the need for compromise in the coming session, Stanford said that should additional revenue be necessary he would consider a public referendum on a proposed tax package.
While sympathetic to the concerns of motorists, particularly on I-405, Stanford favors a data-driven review of the tolling program, but more immediately has been supportive of fixes to better move traffic and more outreach to district residents on larger regional transportation issues.
Vice-chairman of the capital budget, Stanford has a long list of successful legislation, including a bill that would allow state agencies to begin preparations for drought before an official drought declaration is made, potentially saving the state millions in water leases.
Stanford has shown himself as a thoughtful and analytical lawmaker, willing to work across the aisle and should be re-elected to his seat.
The candidates are evenly matched in terms of thoughtfulness and preparation for the job.
Langston, retired from BNSF, runs a business with his brothers that manages real estate investments and also operates childcare learning centers throughout the Puget Sound region, employing 300 people.
A Maltby-area resident, Langston was founding member of the Monroe Public Schools Foundation and is an advocate for public education. Regarding education funding, Langston said the Legislature has shown it commitment with more than $4.5 billion in recently approved funding. He has said he’s not convinced new revenues will be necessary, but will keep an open mind and consider all options. A report that is being prepared now for the Legislature should help direct lawmakers in the next session to fully funding K-12 education, he said.
Langston considers it unfair that the toll system on I-405 requires people to pay for the privilege of going faster, especially since it was built on roads that taxpayers already have paid for.
Kloba, a licensed massage therapist, was appointed to the Kirkland City Council in 2013 and won election that year and re-election in 2015, addressing issues related to the city’s budget and growth. She also has served on bond and levy committees and as legislative director for the state PTA, providing insight on education funding issues.
Kloba considers full funding of education an investment that will offer costs savings elsewhere to the state in social service and public safety areas. Additional revenue can be found, she suggests, in closing tax loopholes that benefit corporations over taxpayers. She would also consider a capital gains tax. Kloba is supportive of a levy swap proposal offered by former Rep. Ross Hunter, which would attempt to redistribute revenue and eliminate funding disparities among school districts.
Either would serve the district well and would work collaboratively with other lawmakers, but Kloba appears better prepared to address school funding issues and gets our endorsement.
The endorsement for the 1st District Senate seat will appear in Friday’s Herald.