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Originally published Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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The Times recommends: Joel Hussey in the 45th Legislative District

Joel Hussey offers the right mix of creativity, energy and fiscal prudence needed to help the Washington Legislature budget long-term.

Seattle Times Editorial

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REDMOND small-business owner Joel Hussey is recommended for the state House from the 45th Legislative District.

Hussey, CEO and president of the aircraft-leasing company Tailwind Capital, brings critical budget and finance skills. He is a good prospect to challenge the Legislature's dependence on budget deals based on gimmicks and tricks and make Washington more business friendly.

Hussey agrees with the state Supreme Court's ruling that Washington state underfunds public education. Hussey would find additional money for schools by shrinking the state's spending levels and other budget priorities. Washington's future depends on investing more in education, but spending must be smarter and more targeted.

Hussey is running against Rep. Roger Goodman, a thoughtful progressive who has had three terms in office in which to prove he understands the need for fiscal reform. But the Kirkland Democrat has remained entrenched and refused to embrace changes important for the state's economic recovery.

Goodman opposed tightening up Washington's overgenerous public-employee pensions and setting new limits on spending. He voted against two bipartisan efforts, stronger teacher evaluations and a repeal of Initiative 728, the unfunded education mandate passed by voters.

Goodman won re-election two years ago by a thin margin. A redrawn 45th Legislative District has brought more political balance, making the lawmaker outside the mainstream of his district.

Hussey has not served in public office, but makes up for that gap on his civic résumé with a depth of public service. Hussey stepped up to serve as president of the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association, as the 6,500-youth sports association battled through a financial and legal scandal.

Hussey earned an accounting degree from Seattle Pacific University and an MBA from the University of Washington. He is endorsed by state Sen. Andy Hill, another moderate Republican helping to shake up the status quo in Olympia.

Hussey has made a compelling case for change.

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