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Originally published July 1, 2012 at 4:01 PM | Page modified July 2, 2012 at 8:23 AM

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The Times recommends: Carlyle, Tarleton in the 36th Legislative District

In the 36th Legislative District, re-elect Reuven Carlyle to Position 1 and elect Gael Tarleton to Position 2.

Seattle Times Editorial

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GAEL Tarleton, Democrat, is by far the most qualified candidate for state representative in the 36th District for the seat being vacated by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson.

Tarleton, 53, has twice been elected countywide as one of the five commissioners of the Port of Seattle, who have elected her president. There she has dealt with such issues as public investment, Port management, labor relations and air and water cleanups.

She is a progressive, business-friendly Democrat who knows the trade issues vital to Seattle. She also works as a research adviser at the University of Washington and has a background in national-security issues. She would give up the Port position if elected.

The open seat for the district — representing Queen Anne, Magnolia and Ballard — has attracted several other Democrats, all of them progressives, who have raised money and are campaigning seriously. These include Sahar Fathi, 28, an aide to Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien and a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington; Evan Cliffthorne, 28, an aide to state Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds; Noel Frame, 32, Washington state director of Progressive Majority; and Brett Phillips, 26, the manager of sustainability for Unico Properties.

Fathi, an Iranian American attorney, would represent immigrants better than any of the others. Phillips is the son of King County Councilmember Larry Phillips and has strong backing from labor.

These others would all be starting out as elected politicians. Tarleton is not.

For the other state representative seat in the 36th, we strongly recommend the incumbent, Reuven Carlyle. An entrepreneur who fits the tech-savvy, progressive district, he is a needed voice in a caucus heavy with public employees. He took courageous votes on reform of workers' compensation, school employment benefits and state retirement plans. He has two opponents, but neither has a funded campaign nor gives a convincing reason to turn Carlyle out.

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