Skip to main content

Originally published July 10, 2014 at 4:07 PM | Page modified July 31, 2014 at 2:48 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments
  • Print

Corrected version

Editorial: The Times recommends Daniel Bretzke for 37th District, Position 1

Voters should replace Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, who is running for re-election, with challenger Daniel Bretzke.

Seattle Times Editorial

Editorial board primary election recommendations

Endorsements banner

Seattle Times editorial board members have been interviewing candidates and campaigns for races and a ballot measure on the Aug. 5 primary ballot. We have published our recommendations to voters. Ballots need to be postmarked by Aug. 5

Read all primary editorial endorsements -->


THE 37th Legislative District’s Position 1 needs a legislator willing to compromise and represent the best interests of a diverse district where many schools are struggling and persistent achievement gaps threaten to leave students behind.

That means turning out the incumbent in favor of the promising political newcomer, Daniel Bretzke of Seattle. The moderate Republican faces an uphill battle against a 16-year legislative veteran, state Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, D-Seattle.

The Democrat chairs the House Education Committee and is in a position to make a huge difference for kids. Yet, she has repeatedly used her power to stall meaningful education reforms opposed by the teachers union.

While Santos should be focused on the Legislature meeting its court-mandated obligations to fully fund education, she wants to make the challenge worse. She supports Initiative 1351, the teachers union-backed measure that requires class sizes across all grades to be reduced, the hiring of thousands more teachers and building of more classrooms. Yet, there is no funding mechanism in sight.

This past session, Santos ignored Seattle Schools’ plea for a change in the law to include some level of student test scores in teacher evaluations. As a result, the state’s districts lost control of around $40 million worth of federal funding, including about $2.8 million for academically struggling students in Seattle Schools.

Bretzke would better serve the citizens of this economically and racially diverse district, bringing more independent thinking to Olympia. He has lived in the district for three decades, working in real estate.

He grasps the complexities and nuances of the education debate. For instance, Bretzke supports the concept of smaller class sizes, but in pre-K through third grade, where research supports the effectiveness. He is not ideologically opposed to raising taxes for education or transportation, although he does not support creating a state income tax.

More important, Bretzke would cooperate with the district’s other state representative, Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle, whose previous efforts at reforms to benefit students in troubled schools have been obstructed by Santos.

Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Sharon Pian Chan, Lance Dickie, Jonathan Martin, Erik Smith, Thanh Tan, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).

: Information in this editorial, originally published July 10, 2014, was corrected July 11, 2014. A previous version implied Washington state has an income tax. It does not.

Four weeks for 99 cents of unlimited digital access to The Seattle Times. Try it now!

 Subscribe today!

Subscribe today!

99¢ for four weeks of unlimited digital access.



The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►