Democrats seem to have a stronghold in the 38th District. And, for now, it looks like it should stay that way with incumbents Aaron Reardon and Pat Scott.
Reardon’s race against Republican challenger Allen Huang sparked interest among many. Running for a second term, though, Reardon still has the eagerness of a newcomer with a better grasp of the ins and outs of the legislature. That’s an impressive combination, especially given that he began his first term during two very contentious, initiative-ridden years.
Reardon understands the budget challenges presented by recent initiatives and is committed to providing taxpayers with essential services such as police, fire, health and transportation. He also supports expanded choices and competition in public education and is open to the idea of exploring charter schools. Reardon has ideas for alleviating transportation problems. His multi-faceted approach includes continuing with Sound Transit while exploring ways to expand I-5 occupancy. He also supports re-examining how much Snohomish County residents get back on every dollar they spend on transportation.
Allen Huang is Reardon’s opponent. As the campaign has progressed, so has his enthusiasm for the Position 1 spot. Unfortunately, he has spent too much of his campaign focusing on what he perceives to be a problem with Reardon holding a job with the city of Everett. Huang ought to be more worried about learning the intricacies of the issues and coming up with plausible solutions himself. Still, Huang, a software engineer, is bright and his diverse cultural background as a native of China would benefit the community. Before trying to tackle a challenge as big as a legislative office, though, it would be better for Huang to get his feet wet at the local level, perhaps with volunteer service on a parks or library board.
In Position 2, veteran legislator Pat Scott is certainly no stranger to the area or to the voters, as her 64 percent of the primary votes suggests. As a member of the Transportation Committee and co-chair of the House Local Government Committee, Scott’s experience continues to benefit constituents greatly. Scott has been diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments. She is optimistic about a full recovery, staff members said.
Scott offers much too much for the district voters to consider her opponents. Gregory Lemke, a Reform Party candidate, and Libertarian Howard Gross are Scott’s opponents.
This is Lemke’s second shot at a seat in the House. He’s serious about serving and shows a better grasp of the issues this time around, but not enough to oust Scott. Lemke needs to start exploring more local offices and build his name as a Reform Party candidate before taking on the House.
Gross’ tough-love approach to solving transportation woes in the Puget Sound area — do nothing about roads and people will be forced to use transit and other options — shows a lack of understanding of the will of the people. That approach to government will only frustrate voters and lead to more initiatives.
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