Editorial: The Times recommends Reps. Steve Bergquist and Zack Hudgins in 11th District
The incumbents of the 11th District, Reps. Steve Bergquist and Zack Hudgins, get the nod, but voters deserve more robust options.
Seattle Times Editorial
IN the 11th Legislative District, incumbent Democratic Reps. Steve Bergquist and Zack Hudgins should be returned to Olympia.
In Position 2, Bergquist, a small-business owner and substitute teacher, gets the endorsement because he is far more capable than his Republican opponent, Sarah Sanoy-Wright. She lacks basic comprehension of a range of issues, including the state’s paramount duty for education, despite two campaigns for the Legislature.
Bergquist has a somewhat sparse record in his first two-year term, but represents the interests of his district, including parts of Renton, Tukwila and Maple Valley. That includes transportation, advocating for investment to untangle the Highway 167 bottleneck. He was the primary sponsor of law passed in 2013 that encourages high-school students to participate in community service.
But Bergquist has an unrealistic view of Washington’s ability to pay for Initiative 1351 — a class-size reduction measure on the fall ballot that carries a $4.7 billion price tag through 2019, while the Supreme Court’s education-funding McCleary decision needs to be funded as well.
He also supported a shortsighted decision last legislative session that cost Washington its federal waiver from No Child Left Behind, and control of about $40 million.
But Bergquist has expanded his knowledge in his first term, and he brings some small-business experience to the House Democratic caucus. He is also not his opponent, Sanoy-Wright, who is unqualified.
In Position 1, Hudgins, a two-term lawmaker with Microsoft and Amazon.com experience, is running unopposed. He has been a leader on higher-education issues, including the Real Hope Act — which extends state financial aid to undocumented students — and extending in-state tuition rates to veterans.
The voters of the 11th District deserve more robust options for these legislative races.
Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Sharon Pian Chan, Jonathan Martin, Erik Smith, Thanh Tan, Robert J. Vickers, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).