By Doug Petrowski
Candidates for the Washington State House of Representatives, District 32, spelled out the differences between themselves in a candidates’ forum sponsored by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce last week.
In the 32nd District race for Position 1 incumbent Cindy Ryu is facing a challenge from business owner Randy Hayden, and in Position 2 incumbent Ruth Kagi is running against Mountlake Terrace resident Robert Reedy.
The state’s 32nd Legislative District includes all of Mountlake Terrace west of I-5, in addition to parts of Edmonds, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and Kenmore.
In the Position 1 race, Ryu touted her experience in the public sector, serving four years as a councilmember and the mayor of the City of Shoreline prior to her 2-year term as a state representative in the 32nd District. Running for political office was a decision to give back to the community, she explained. “As an immigrant, it was time to give back to my adopted land, America,” Ryu said. She sat on the House Transportation Committee and the Business & Financial Services Committee in Olympia the past two years and is seeking re-election, in part, in order to return to those committee seats.
Ryu’s opponent, Randy Hayden, stressed his time as a business owner makes him the better choice for Position #1. “The politicians we have are politicians, and government needs someone that has business experience,” Hayden said. “Government is going through a rough time. We need someone with some business experience to pull us through.” Hayden owns a local construction company and a mini-storage building.
Ryu and Hayden also differed on the role of state government in pushing environmental regulations and “green” requirements. While Hayden would like to see fewer mandates from the legislature, while Ryu said government should take a role in setting “green goals.”
The topic of transportation funding showed the contrast between Position 2 candidates Kagi and Reedy. “Clearly we do need additional transportation revenue when you look at the growing needs of our growing population,” Kagi said. She wants to explore ways to raise more state money for transit and a retooling of the Edmonds Ferry Dock.
Reedy is less committal to the idea of increasing state tax revenue for transportation. Concerning changes in vehicle and pedestrian access to the ferries in Edmonds, Reedy said, “I live in Mountlake Terrace, so that’s not my decision. You people of Edmonds, you get to pay for that.” Reedy also stressed he is in favor of keeping the two-third vote requirement of legislators in order to raise any state taxes, something many state leaders want changed to a simple majority.
The Oct. 1 forum also included U.S. Senate candidate Michael Baumgartner, Congressional District 7 candidates Jim McDermott and Ron Bemis, State Legislative District 21 candidates Marko Liias and Kevin Morrison, and a discussion of various state initiatives and referendums. We have included the videotaped presentations of the candidates and issues below.
The general election ballots are expected to arrive in the mail on Friday, Oct. 19, and must be mailed by Tuesday, Nov. 6 in order to be counted.