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Originally published Monday, September 15, 2014 at 5:35 PM

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Editorial: The Times recommends Tina Orwall, Karen Keiser, Mia Gregerson in the 33rd District

In the 33rd Legislative District, The Seattle Times editorial board recommends Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, for House Pos. 1, Rep. Mia Gregerson, D-SeaTac for House Pos. 2, and Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent.


Seattle Times Editorial

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19% of the members of the legislature were initially appointed to their posts, not elected fair and square. I am... MORE

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DURING debate on the state House floor, Rep. Tina Orwall is seldom the first to reach for a microphone. But as one of the workhorses of the Legislature, Orwall gets plenty done — she is a thoughtful, responsible lawmaker who has amassed a substantial body of work over the last six years.

The Des Moines Democrat earns The Times’ recommendation for re-election in the 33rd Legislative District, which runs from the south end of Seattle to the Green River Valley, and encompasses the suburbs surrounding Sea-Tac International Airport. The Times previously recommended Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, and Rep. Mia Gregerson, D-SeaTac, before the primary election. Keiser has played a key role in the Legislature’s health-care reform debate. Gregerson is a promising newcomer who was appointed last December.

What is most striking about Orwall’s legislative career is the wide variety of issues she has taken on and shepherded through the Legislature. She has proved her effectiveness in the nitty-gritty work of lawmaking — negotiating with stakeholders and crafting policy.

She can take credit for passing high-profile bills of statewide interest — tackling issues of suicide prevention and compensation for wrongful convictions. She says her bill establishing a foreclosure-mediation process has served about 4,500 homeowners. A bill last year increased fines for sex-industry patrons and directed the proceeds to local-government programs for enforcement and rehabilitation. This year, a bill guaranteed adoptees access to birth certificates unless birthparents object.

Orwall recognizes the need for pragmatic compromise in next year’s big debates over school funding and possibly transportation. She demonstrates independence from hard-liners in her caucus — she favored a teacher-evaluation bill last session that was shot down by the Washington Education Association. She says she will vote this fall against the union’s budget-busting class-size measure, Initiative 1351.

Even if she doesn’t often find herself in the spotlight, Orwall’s intellectual curiosity and hard work make her one of the strongest lawmakers in Olympia.

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).



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