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Originally published Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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The Times recommends: state Sen, McCravey and state Rep. Stanford in the 1st Legislative District

Republican challenger Dawn McCravey is endorsed for the state Senate in the 1st Legislative District. Incumbent Democratic Rep. Derek Stanford is endorsed for House Position 1. Position 2 is unopposed.

Seattle Times Editorial

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NORTHSHORE School Board member Dawn McCravey is endorsed for the state Senate from the 1st Legislative District. She is recommended over the incumbent who began her long public service on the same board.

This past session, state Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, frustrated even those who admire her knowledge of education issues. As committee chair she resisted and stymied key reforms.

Education is an elemental issue for the state, and voters and taxpayers have every right to expect rigorous scrutiny of funding for Washington schools, expectations for teacher and student standards, and how pay and benefits are managed in difficult economic times. This past session, McAuliffe did not provide that leadership, and there is no prospect her demonstrated loyalties to the education establishment will change.

Challenger McCravey, a Republican, has been a hardworking, constructive presence on the Northshore School Board, and served as board president. She has deep roots in the school district and community through her family and volunteer activity. She has worked as a special-education teacher.

A third candidate, Democrat Guy Palumbo, serves on the Snohomish County Planning Commission and volunteers with animal-rescue activities. Though a promising, thoughtful candidate, Palumbo does not offer McCravey's formidable education-policy expertise or depth of public service.

In the only contested House race in the 1st District, Democratic state Rep. Derek Stanford has three challengers. Stanford is seeking a second term. He is narrowly endorsed for two more years.

Stanford demonstrated scant independence from his party in Olympia. He will have a short career if he remains a predictable D vote, without any skepticism or challenge of his party's lead on a variety of needed reforms — in education, budgeting, financing and employee compensation.

Stanford has three challengers, two Republicans and one Democrat. Republican Sandy Guinn, a former Bothell City Council member and deputy mayor, is the most credible of the three.

The case for removing Stanford was not made, but his capacity to operate independently from his party will be a key benchmark as the Legislature wrestles with revenue and budget challenges.

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