Top row, from left: Republican Jim Langston, and Democrats Shelley Kloba, Aaron Moreau-Cook, and (bottom row) Darshan Rauniyar and Kyoko Matsumoto Wright are running for the position that Democratic State Rep. Luis Moscoso is giving up to run for the state senate.

Education, economy top issues for 1st District candidates

By Evan Smith

The five candidates for the open state representative position in the 1st Legislative District recently sent statements about what they believe are the most important issues in this year’s election.

Republican Jim Langston, and Democrats Shelley Kloba, Aaron Moreau-Cook, Darshan Rauniyar and Kyoko Matsumoto Wright are running for the position that Democratic State Rep. Luis Moscoso is giving up to run for the state senate.

The five will run on the Aug. 2 primary ballot, with the two leaders advancing to the November general-election ballot, regardless of party.

Moscoso is leaving the house position after three two-year terms to run for the position that Democratic State Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe is giving up after six four-year terms.

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.

Here are the statements in the order the candidates’ names will appear on the primary ballot and in the voters’ pamphlet:

Legislative District 1 – State Representative Pos. 1

Aaron Moreau-Cook (Prefers Democratic Party) —

Education: “Pouring more money into an outmoded system will not succeed” — McCleary Supreme Court ruling 2012. Let’s change education funding formulas, remove education levies and make 2017 the year we fully fund public education.

An honest plan to increase revenues to pay for education, without impacting other social services, is critical.

Tax Reform: We need a responsible budget that cuts wasteful spending, prioritizes job creation, with investments in our infrastructure and public education. Removal of corporate tax exemptions that do not protect in-state jobs is vital (example: corporation eliminates employee positions in-state; the business must pay back lost taxes).

Jim Langston (Prefers Republican Party) —

Public education is the paramount duty of the state. It’s our responsibility to make this the first priority in our operating budget. It’s vital that education get our first dollars — not our last. And that our kids receive an education that will prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

Politicians have failed us on transportation. Our highways are more clogged than ever, tolling on 405 has created more problems, and our neighborhood streets are now crowded with commuters as well. It’s time for new thinking that focuses on reducing traffic congestion and helping families and workers get moving again.

Darshan Rauniyar (Prefers Democratic Party) —

After 10 years of waiting, our area received next to nothing when the Legislature finally passed a transportation package after a decade of delay.

We’ve waited four years for Olympia to respond to the Supreme Court mandate to prioritize our public schools. I want my sons and all our kids to have the opportunity to compete in the global economy.

I’ll take my unique combination of business experience negotiating with Fortune 500 companies and commitment to our progressive values to Olympia to ensure we get results for the 1st District. I ask for your vote.

Shelley Kloba (Prefers Democratic Party) —

Some common themes emerge as I talk to residents. People want great schools because they know education is the key to our prosperity. We have defined basic education and we know what it costs. Now we have to make the investments that pay off in the bright futures of our children.

While the Legislature needs to find better ways to fund our schools, we cannot lose sight of the quality of life issues that create thriving communities for Washington families and businesses. Making sure affordable housing, transportation options, healthcare, and clean air and water are funded is essential.

Kyoko Matsumoto Wright (Prefers Democratic Party) —

The most important issue is education for unless we solve that, we really will have a hard time to work on anything else. Then we will need to work on housing and transportation, our economy and the environment. All of these support and interact with one another. We are now dealing with the consequences of falling behind and playing catch up. We also need to do a lot better job of working together. No one benefits until we agree to do something. Then we can start to get things done.

Evan Smith can be reached at

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