In this fall’s election, the race for the 5th District’s state representative Position 2 is between the incumbent, Republican Glenn Anderson, and Democrat David Spring.
The 5th District includes Maple Valley and other eastern areas of King County.
Spring, a University of Washington researcher, lives in North Bend. His campaign Web site is www.springforhouse.com.
Anderson, who works in banking and management consulting, is an Issaquah resident. He’s been in the Legislature since 2000. His Web site is www.glennanderson.org.
The candidates, who will advance past the primary election Aug. 19 because they’re the only ones on the ballot, responded to a questionnaire from the Reporter about some of their campaign positions:
Reporter: Why did you decide to run for office?
Anderson: Our state has extraordinary potential, and our community provides some of the best our state has to offer. Yet, we continue to drift further away from realizing that great potential. During the last four years state spending has increased by $8.5 billion – a 33 percent increase – with almost nothing to show for it. Are our children smarter? Is the commute to work quicker? Are healthcare costs less? Is there better service from government and more money at the end of the month for families? It’s just reckless and irresonsible. I want to put my initiative, creativity and experience back to work to secure a prosperous future for the families in our community.
Spring: I’m a parent who is concerned about our Legislature’s failure to fund our public schools. We are currently 46th in the nation in per-pupil funding. As a result, our schools are very overcrowded and our children’s futures are being placed at risk. Money that should go to fund schools instead has been diverted into tax breaks for major multi-national corporations. I want to end the domination of corporate lobbyists in Olympia and restore adequate funding for public schools.
Reporter: What do you think the Legislature can do to help residents deal with the slumping economy?
Anderson: The broad, independent expert assessment is that our state economy is going to be, at best, stagnant for the next three to five years. We must bring our state’s runaway spending binge under control and rigorously prioritize spending to deliver value and real results. Within existing funds, we need to increase our investment in our K-12 schools, rehabilitate our transportation and electrical power infrastructure, dramatically improve the competitiveness of Puget Sound ports in the global economy, and reform our business climate to encourage advanced manufacturing jobs to locate here.
Spring: We need to provide high-tech, future-oriented job training so that our citizens can get higher-paying jobs, instead of having those jobs shipped out of state or overseas simply because we didn’t have skilled workers here in Washington.
Reporter: Many people commute long distances to get to work. What ideas do you have to improve transportation in your district?
Anderson: All forms of individual and public transit, except light-rail, run on roads. Whether individual commuters, bus riders, vanpoolers or bicyclists, we all use roads. Light-rail is the most expensive, least cost-effective and least usable form of public transit. We need to significantly rehabilitate and expand our roadways and prioritize funding to dramatically expand bus rapid transit service across Puget Sound. Bus rapid transit is the most flexible, timely and cost-effective option to reduce congestion and reduce carbon emissions, and can be implemented relatively quickly.
Spring: Our community currently faces some of the worst traffic gridlock in America. Yet we also pay some of the highest gas taxes. The reason for this disparity is that our Legislature is more concerned about giving tax breaks to their corporate cronies than providing adequate funding for transportation projects. We won’t be able to solve the transportation problem until we first solve the problem of corporate lobbyists dominating policy decisions in Olympia.
Reporter: What other issues are priorities for you?
Anderson: You’d think after the example of the lasting devastation of Hurricaine Katrina, emergency preparedness would be a top public safety priority. But no. Since the 2006 winter storm that knocked out power to hundreds of thousands in Puget Sound for over a week, no state action has been taken to better prepare for a long-lasting natural disaster. For the last two years I have introducted legislation to create an enhanced emergency radio network to assure people can get fast and accurate information on availability of shelter, food, gasoline and medical attention in a long-lasting public emergency. I will continue to work for that.
Spring: My Republican opponent was a corporate lobbyist before running for office in 2000. Since then, he has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate lobbyists and given away millions of dollars in corporate tax breaks. I think we need to change the way we elect representatives to reduce corporate lobbyist influence over public policy. So I would add election reform and restoration of democracy to the list of high-priority items.