Candidates agree: Jobs, education top priority

Incumbent state Rep. Derek Stanford and his challenger Sandy Guinn are focused on job creation and education.

They are vying for a seat representing the 1st District, which includes most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, part of Kirkland, unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell. The two-year position pays an annual salary of $42,106.

Stanford, D-Bothell, is seeking his second term in the state House of Representatives. He originally ran for the seat because he thought lawmakers could make better investments to get the weak economy back on track. Now Stanford, 41, said he has a record that shows he’s working to strengthen the economy.

Stanford said he believes it’s a good time, while interest rates are low, to push for making capital investments to improve school buildings and transportation. He said he thinks that state dollars need to pay for local workers. He pointed to an elementary school being in Snohomish that he said was being constructed by workers from Idaho.

“Since then, I have been advocating for stronger ‘Buy Washington’ laws to make sure local employers get first shot at contracts paid for by our tax dollars,” Stanford said.

Stanford said the big question the state is facing right now for education is how to fund it.

“I have supported closing a number of tax loopholes and putting money saved into education,” Stanford said. “There are a bunch of tax breaks out there that I think we should be getting rid of and across the aisle there hasn’t been a lot of support for doing the same thing. We have to ask, ‘Is our top priority on education or tax breaks for private jets?’”

Guinn, a Republican, believes the race could be close. She received about 25 percent of the vote in the August primary to Stanford’s 45 percent. Another Republican in the race, Brian Travis, pulled in about 21 percent. “I’m doing my best to make it close,” she said.

Guinn, 61, feels her experience serving on the Bothell City Council from 1998 through 2009 helped her prepare for a job as a state legislator. She refused to institute a Business and Occupation tax and didn’t vote to increase property taxes when she was on the council, Guinn said. She added that she helped build a 20-percent operating reserve, pay down city loans and promote economic development in Bothell.

“City government is just a miniature state government,” she said. “You work with people who have different viewpoints and you try to come up with a solution that is good for the whole.”

The way to create jobs and help small businesses succeed is by lowering the cost and complexity of doing business, Guinn said. “Getting people back to work is a huge priority because it would put money in their pockets and they can buy services and products from the small businesses,” she said.

Investing in education should include finding ways for adults to be matched up with employers, Guinn added.

“We need to be working with colleges to make sure this happens,” she said. “Education is not just about the young; it’s about adults. In order for any funding to happen, we need to get the economy functioning first.”

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

What’s the job?

At stake is a two-year term as a state representative serving Legislative District 1, Position 1. The annual salary is $42,106. The district includes most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, part of Kirkland, unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell.

Derek Stanford

Residence: Bothell

Age: 41

Party: Democratic

Experience: Incumbent state representative. Freelances consulting work as a statistician.

Website: www.derekstanford.com

Sandy Guinn

Residence: Bothell

Age: 61

Party: Republican

Experience: Senior administrative assistant for the city of Woodinville’s development services department. Served on the Bothell City Council deputy mayor.

Website: www.sandyguinn.com

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