John Lovick and Robert Legg are facing off to win the Position 2 seat, representing the 44th District.
Lovick, a Democrat from Mill Creek, is an eight-year House veteran who seeks another term.
“I want to continue the good work we’ve done,” said Lovick, currently speaker pro-tem of the House. “People want someone who’s going to be a realist, and not just say what sounds good. We’re not perfect, but we work hard.”
Legg, a Republican from Lake Stevens and a pastor at Lakeside Community Fellowship, is making his first run for elected office.
“The main issues before us, especially in the district, is the transportation crisis, the taxation on businesses, as well as some educational challenges,” said Legg, a board member of the Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce . “Do we want to continue with the current leadership culture, or not?”
On transportation, Legg advocates a “balanced” approach.
“Not everybody can use mass transit,” he said. “Some people have children they need to get to child care, and the nature of our work force” dictates driving. Because of that, Legg suggests doing both roads and transit, and insists they can be done “reasonably.”
One thing Legg would do is widen Highway 9 east of Mill Creek.
Lovick said orange cones indicate work is going on all over the place. Widening Highway 9 is taking place in stages, but funding and weather control progress.
Lovick agrees that a balanced transportation approach is best. He also says transportation is a regional issue.
“The (Department of Transportation) is working on full capacity,” he said. “There’s been a tremendous amount of growth, both in the district and around (Snohomish) county, and we’ve tried to keep up. I think we’ve done a good job.”
On education, Lovick admits there are no easy solutions. He wants to take a wait-and-see approach to the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL).
Passing all areas of the test is a high school graduation requirement beginning with the class of 2008.
“That’s probably the one thing where you’ll hear me say ‘let’s stay the course,’” Lovick said. “We should at least let our children get through the first graduation in 2008 just to see if the (WASL) works.”
He said the intent is good but it’s not working.
“The way the WASL is structured, it does not work. We need academic accountability. We’re throwing millions at something that needs a major revamp.”
Lovick and Legg have different priorities for filing bills that they would strive to get passed into law.
Lovick, a retired Washington State Patrol officer, said he wants to address vehicle theft by creating a statewide auto theft authority to help police recover stolen cars, such as using license plate detectors.
Lovick would also like to rework domestic violence laws so an attacker who chokes a victim is treated the same legally as someone who lands a punch.
Legg said he would file bills to address infrastructure and mass transit. He also wants to repeal some state requirements for health insurance providers.
“Washington has 50 mandates, Idaho has 13,” Legg says.
Repealing some of those requirements, he says, would lower insurance costs and allow more people to have access to affordable health insurance.