Candidates Stanford, Thannisch list legislative priorities

By Evan Smith

Incumbent Democratic 1st Legislative District State Rep. Derek Stanford and Republican challenger Neil Thannisch recently sent statements about their legislative priorities.

The 1st Legislative District includes most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, north Kirkland, unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell including the Maltby area.

The two candidates are running on the general-election ballot for the position in the state House of Representatives that Stanford has held for three two-year terms.

Here are statements on legislative priorities from the two candidates in the order their names appear on the ballot and in the voters’ pamphlet:

Derek Stanford (Prefers Democratic Party) —

The top priority next session is full funding for education. This will be a challenge, but also an opportunity to reform our extremely regressive tax structure. We need to meet our responsibilities head-on, and recognize that investments in education are critical for our kids and our economy. That means reducing class sizes and building real classrooms instead of more portables. We must also pay attention to needs outside the classroom; services like transportation to and from school, counselors, nurses, libraries, music, and sports are all part of an excellent education system. Education is about more than just multiple-choice tests.

I worked with the Snohomish County and King County delegations to secure major investments for our region in the last transportation package, including the first new funding for the 522 corridor in years. With a bipartisan group of legislators, I pushed for reforms to the toll lanes on the 405, and I continue to fight for an additional 405 general-purpose lane in north Bothell. To accommodate our growing population, we need more options for commuters: bus rapid transit, light rail, and fixing traffic chokepoints throughout the district on SR 9, SR 522, and 405.

Neil Thannisch (Prefers Republican Party) —

The priority of the Legislator should be to listen to the people they represent. When was the last time you felt like your voice was heard in Olympia?

We asked for better commutes and we got tolls leading to more congestion and accidents. We pay the second-highest gas tax in the nation yet we still suffer congestion on almost every road in our Legislative District, from the unfinished 522 to Highway 9 to I-405 and most of the adjoining arterials.

We seek the best education for our children, yet even the State Supreme Court determined past Democrat-led Legislatures did not properly fund education. Bonds should be a thing of the past and levies should not be required to pay our teachers adequately.

We expect a good business environment for jobs, yet many businesses are leaving our state due to over-regulation.

We need alter course before it’s too late.

Let’s remove tolls from I-405 altogether and publicly discuss other options for traffic management. Creating traffic gridlock and then opening lanes during off hours is not sufficient.

Let’s fully fund education as it should be.

Let’s work together to keep jobs here Washington.

We deserve representatives who listen to our input but today’s representatives seem to ignore the concerns and ideas we bring before them.

Elect me and I will restore your voice to the House.

Evan Smith can be reached at

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