Dave Hayes (left) and Norma Smith

Dave Hayes (left) and Norma Smith

Editorial: Smith, Hayes for 10th Legislative District

Smith has championed privacy and the environment. Hayes’ law enforcement background informs his work.

10th Legislative District

The 10th Legislative District encompasses all of Whidbey Island, Camano Island and their cities, as well as parts of south Skagit and north Snohomish counties, including the cities of Mount Vernon, La Conner and Stanwood.

House of Representatives, Position 1: Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, is running for her sixth term in the House. She is challenged by Mount Vernon Democrat Scott McMullen, a firefighter for 36 years with service in the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserves. McMullen’s father was the late Pat McMullen, a Skagit County prosecutor and state legislator.

In a meeting with the editorial board, McMullen expressed clear understanding of issues and a desire to address the state’s education, infrastructure and affordable housing needs as well as those of first responders.

The state has made a huge first step in funding for education, McMullen said, but he sees a need for more funding for school counseling and for career and technical training. A firefighter for Boeing, McMullen said he would make the interests of first responders a priority as he would the state’s transportation concerns, in particular the ferry system that serves his district.

Smith, in her more than 10 years in the Legislature, has demonstrated detailed knowledge and expertise on a range of issues, including technology, privacy, the environment, training for advanced manufacturing and mental health issues.

Smith, three years ago was instrumental in establishment of the Joint Center for Deployment and Research in Earth Abundant Materials at WSU Everett. The center, which recently held a symposium at which Smith spoke, is tasked with finding and developing alternatives to the rare earth elements that are crucial components in cellphones, batteries, monitors, wind turbines and other technology.

More recently, Smith was the primary sponsor for successful bills that developed regulations to protect privacy around “biometric identifiers,” the specific measurements such as palm prints, retina patterns and more that are likely to be used increasingly to identify people; outlined improvements to the state’s Regulatory Fairness Act; and was a leading voice in support of the state’s first-in-the-nation legislation to protect net neutrality standards after the Federal Communications Commission ended Obama-era protections.

Smith also plans to resubmit legislation that would make recycleable items more marketable by educating the public on preventing contamination of recyclables by other materials. Related to her JC Dream work, she also interested in developing processes to responsibly recycle the components of solar panels, to keep that a viable and affordable option to generate electricity.

Smith is practiced at “working across the aisle,” and is in close cooperation with 21st District’s Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, to make investments through the state’s capital budget in community facilities for mental health and addiction treatment.

Smith is a lawmaker who is able to think ahead regarding the needs of her district and the state and should be re-elected to a sixth term.

House of Representatives, Position 2: Rep. Dave Hayes, R-Camano Island, is seeking his fourth term. He is a sergeant with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and a U.S. Navy veteran. He is challenged by Dave Paul, an Oak Harbor Democrat who is vice-president for student services at Skagit Valley College’s campuses in Mount Vernon and Oak Harbor and president of the Oak Harbor Educational Foundation.

Paul’s background in education, particularly at the community college and higher education level, could provide valuable insight to the Legislature, in particular concerning student financial aid, the educational needs of veterans and provisions for technical education and job training.

Paul said he understood the public’s “McCleary fatigue” on education funding issues, but pointed to work remaining on funding, and suggests lawmakers consider a deeper look at tax loopholes and a capital gains tax.

Hayes believes the Legislature has made great improvements in education funding, increasing the amount of the state budget dedicated to those needs to more than half, up for about 41 percent of the budget in 2009. Hayes said he’s willing to consider adjustments to the state’s funding formula, but is opposed to a capital gains tax because he believes it’s an income tax.

Hayes was the primary sponsor on several bills, most of them focused on law enforcement and traffic concerns, including successful legislation to develop uniform standards for driver’s training programs; a bill that updated regulations for cleanup of contaminated properties to include methamphetamine and transient accommodations; and posting the standards for reporting of suspected child abuse. Although not successful last session, Hayes also pushed to increase penalties for distracted driving and to remove the sales tax on feminine hygiene products.

Though they differ on several issues, both men demonstrate their commitment to the interests of their communities and district. Hayes, however, has proved himself an effective lawmaker, who should continue to represent his district.

Talk to us

More in Opinion

john lewis vote
Editorial: A recap of our general election endorsements

Get your ballot in by mail or drop box soon to make sure it counts in the Nov. 3 election.

Editorial cartoons for Sunday, Oct. 25

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Kevin Duncan puts his ballot in the ballot drop box outside of the Arlington Library on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 in Arlington, Wash. The Arlington school District has three measures on the February ballot, including one to replace Post Middle School. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Commentary: Get your ballots in early by mail or drop box

To make sure your ballot is counted and your voice heard get your ballot in; the earlier, the better.

Election vote icon for general use.
Editorial: Approve 8212 to make most of long-term care fund

Approval would allow the fund — supporting care services — to be carefully invested by a state board.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Michigan State Fairgrounds in Novi, Mich., Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Editorial: Joe Biden can restore nation to normalcy

His nearly 50 years of public service can guide the country in confronting a range of challenges.

Paul J. Lawrence, attorney for the Legislature, addresses justices during a hearing before the Washington Supreme Court Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Olympia, Wash. The court heard oral arguments in the case that will determine whether state lawmakers are subject to the same disclosure rules that apply to other elected officials under the voter-approved Public Records Act. The hearing before the high court was an appeal of a case that was sparked by a September 2017 lawsuit filed by a media coalition, led by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Editorial: Montoya-Lewis, Whitener for state Supreme Court

Both justices’ legal experience is further informed by their perspectives as women and minorities.

Activists opposed to the confirmation of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, dressed as characters from "The Handmaid's Tale," protest at the Supreme Court on a foggy day, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 in Washington.  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Viewpoints: How to keep Supreme Court above the partisan fray

It has sometimes seemed out of step with the electorate; here’s how it can preserve its legitimacy.

Comment: The good that’s coming out of facing covid-19

As difficult as the pandemic has been, it has required us to innovate and adapt to better deliver health care.

Comment: Loss of dental health benefit in pandemic a bad move

State lawmakers have cut the benefit before. It resulted in years of poor health outcomes for many.

Most Read