Editorial: Re-Elect Paul and Ortiz-Self to House Seats

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By the editorial board of the Herald

Watch your mailbox; ballots are expected to arrive soon for the Aug. 2 primary election, which will determine the top two candidates for the Nov. 8 general election.

“Primary Election Editorial Board mentions continue today with two races at the State House in the newly redrawn 10th and 21st Legislative Districts, and will continue this week and next for races in the 32nd and 38th Districts. legislative and for the unfinished term of the Secretary of State.

Previous approvals include races in the 39th Legislative District and the Snohomish Utility District Board of Commissioners for District 3. Approvals for races in which the general election ballot is already set will follow before Nov. 8.

In addition to these recommendations, voters are also directed to their local election pamphlet — also mailed to registered voters — the state’s online voter guide and a series of registered candidate forums available on the state’s website. Snohomish County League of Women Voters.

10th LD, House, Pos. 2

As with nearly all legislative and congressional districts following the state’s redistricting, the 10th District has seen some notable changes, especially for residents of northern Snohomish County. While retaining Whidbey and Camano Islands, the district added much of the city of Arlington, while communities north of Arlington and east of I-5 are now part of the 39th District.

Incumbent Rep. Dave Paul, D-Oak Harbor, is seeking election to a third term, the only Democrat among two Republicans in the district. Paul, administrator of the Mount Vernon campus of Skagit Valley College and professor of the United States government, has served on the House Committees for Transportation and College and Workforce Development.

Paul is challenged by Karen Lesetmoe, a first Republican candidate from Oak Harbor. Lesetmoe did not respond to emails seeking participation in a joint interview with the board. Initially, a third candidate ran for the seat, but later withdrew from the race and will not appear on the ballot.

Paul’s career in higher education and K-12 education issues have driven his priorities over the past four years, he said, and even with recent curriculum accomplishments and funding, especially for Running Start and College in the High School, work remains. “We’ve had thousands of students graduating from high school and getting their associate’s degrees in the same weekend,” Paul said. “And other college graduates two years later with no student debt because of that two-year head start.”

Paul also sees work to be done on basic school funding issues not addressed by the McCleary reforms passed in the past decade. While some districts have done well under McCleary’s changes, other districts are facing drastic cuts after voters rejected levies on district operations and capital bonds.

“On the capital (construction) side, the state is going to have to sort this out or there will be, I’m afraid, a sort of McCleary-type lawsuit,” Paul said, suggesting a system similar to that of construction in the community colleges, where funding is determined by a list of proposed projects ranked statewide.

Regarding recent legislation that has reformed law enforcement policies and procedures – and has been the subject of public backlash amid a perceived increase in crime – Paul said that over the past three In recent years, he has spoken with law enforcement officials in the three counties he serves about these reforms. Paul said he tried to raise concerns about unintended consequences that sometimes fell on deaf ears among fellow Democrats.

Paul is working to host a roundtable in September with state lawmakers from all three counties and law enforcement officials on what’s working and what needs to be fixed, including guidelines for police pursuits.

Paul’s work within his district on education and law enforcement issues is representative of his hands-on community approach. Paired with his sponsorship of legislation, including an attempt to pass a three-day sales tax holiday last session, Paul has proven well suited and invaluable to his district as well as the House.

Paul justifies more than the voters to grant him a third term.

21st LD, House, Pos. 2

Among changes to its boundaries, the 21st Ward added neighborhoods in Mukilteo, near Paine Field, and Edmonds, while neighborhoods near Silver Lake and elsewhere joined the 1st, 32nd, or 44th Wards.

Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, D-Mukilteo, is seeking re-election as she completes her fourth term in the House. Ortiz-Self is employed by the Everett School District as a mental health counselor and educator. In addition to serving as majority caucus chair, Ortiz-Self is a member of education committees; children, youth and families; labor and workplace standards and rules.

It is contested by two Republicans.

Jenifer Short, from Edmonds, has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry and is a community activist and signature builder on initiatives around issues related to homeschooling, taxes and education. electoral integrity. Short participated in a Washington Voter Research Project group call that went door-to-door in an attempt to verify the validity of voter registrations.

Petra Bigea of ​​Lynnwood previously ran against Ortiz-Self in 2018. Bigea did not respond to emails asking her to participate in a joint interview with the candidates.

Short previously considered herself a Democrat and more recently served as a precinct officer for the Republican Party. “Honestly, I have issues with some of the laws passed by both sides, and that’s why I’m running. I just want the good grassroots people in the party to bring some order” on issues around public safety, taxes and education, noting that she is now homeschooling her son.

Short is sincere in his concerns but seems less informed on at least one specific legislative issue, volunteering, inaccurately, that the state’s gas tax was to increase by “about a dollar” on July 1.

Ortiz-Self, a public education advocate and advocate for mental health resources for children, adults and seniors, has based much of his work in the Legislative Assembly on these issues, including class size. and ensuring healthy conditions in classrooms. Recently, she has been the main sponsor of successful legislation dealing with these issues, as well as parental visitation rights and the placement of children with kin during child protection and rights protection reviews. families when responding to reports of child abuse or neglect. .

Regarding recent law enforcement reforms, Ortiz-Self said she supports much of what has been accomplished and their adjustments, but is open to other work. “What I’m most proud of is that we started tough, difficult conversations that were way overdue. … Those conversations are going to continue,” she said, and that includes policies around police pursuits.

The key, Ortiz-Self said, is to represent all voters, not just any particular group. “I have to wonder how to let the police do their job and how to make sure every member of the community is safe,” she said.

Over the course of her legislative career, Ortiz-Self has risen to the rank of a leader in the House and succeeded in bringing forward laws that serve the public.

Voters can re-elect her for a fifth term with confidence.


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