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Originally published September 24, 2012 at 5:09 PM | Page modified September 24, 2012 at 5:09 PM

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Editorial: The Times recommends Ross Hunter and Cyrus Habib for 48th Legislative District

In the 48th Legislative District, voters should re-elect state Rep. Ross Hunter and elect Cyrus Habib for a team of smart progressives.

Seattle Times Editorial

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Voters in the 48th Legislative District have the opportunity to pair a seasoned legislator with a smart, energetic newcomer.

This district includes Bellevue, Kirkland, Medina, Clyde Hill, parts of Redmond and the Point communities.

In House, Position 1, Democratic state Rep. Ross Hunter’s footwork helping push government reforms earns him another term in office — although that work is far from over. Within a sometimes uncooperative caucus, he helped secure key reforms to state pensions, public employee health care and K-12 education.

Hunter was first elected to the House in 2002 and has been a champion of public schools. As chair of the House Ways and Means Committee last session, Hunter played a key role producing a budget that held the line on spending and, especially important, did not cut the K-12 system or higher education.

Hunter’s work trying to ensure that businesses could create jobs is why he is one of only four House Democrats endorsed by the Association of Washington Business.

As part of the Democratic leadership, Hunter’s influence can help the coalition of moderate Democrats and Republicans fighting for slower state spending and budget priorities built around education. Indeed, Hunter is far better poised to do this than his opponent, Bill Hirt, a Republican focused only on Sound Transit.

In Position 2, Democrat Cyrus Habib is the best choice for the open seat formerly held by state Rep. Deb Eddy. Habib has not served in public office, but he exhibits a firm grasp of the urgent issues facing our state and supports critical reforms, including teacher evaluations based on student performance and restructuring public-employee benefits.

Habib’s civic résumé includes serving as the Bellevue Human Rights Commissioner, a trustee of the Bellevue College Foundation, and on the board of the Bellevue Downtown Association.

Endorsements from Eastside Republicans such as Conrad Lee and Kevin Wallace of the Bellevue City Council demonstrate a bipartisan track record.

A technology lawyer at Perkins Coie, Habib is a graduate of the Bellevue Public Schools, a Rhodes Scholar and Yale Law School graduate.

Habib’s opponent is Hank Meyers, a Republican serving ably on the Redmond City Council. Habib is the superior choice.

Voters should choose Hunter and Habib for smart leadership in Olympia.

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