Incumbent Rep. Ryu, challenger Smith both emphasize schools

Saturday, July 16, 2016

By Evan Smith

Incumbent 32nd District State Rep. Cindy Ryu and challenger Keith Smith both emphasized support for public schools in statements they recently sent about what they think are the most important issues in this year’s election.

Democrat Ryu, independent candidate Smith, and Republican Alvin Rutledge are running for the position that Ryu has held for three two-year terms.

The three are running on the August 2 primary ballot, with the two leaders advancing to the November general-election ballot.

The 32nd Legislative District includes the city of Shoreline, part of northwest Seattle, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, south Edmonds, Lynnwood and part of Mountlake Terrace.

Here are statements from the candidates in the order their names will appear on the primary ballot and in the voters’ pamphlet:

LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT 32: State Representative Pos. 1, 2-year term

Cindy Ryu (Prefers Democratic Party)

1. Fully fund public schools: Over-reliance on sales tax makes state revenue unreliable and affects adequate funding of local government operations. Property taxes are regressive, as are utility taxes and B and O taxes -- a tax on the gross activities of businesses.

2. Climate change crisis: Mandate reuse of resources and structures. Before demolition for a new development, relocate existing structures to new sites and reduce solid waste.

3. Residential Landlord-Tenant Act is well intended but it needs state agency staffing and oversight.

4. Predatory lenders are still targeting our working poor, retirees, and military families – anyone with a checking account.

Alvin Rutledge (Prefers Republican Party)

Has not responded to requests for an issue statement;

Keith Smith (States No Party Preference)

Tough decisions must be made regarding funding for public schools and mental health facilities. Currently, revenue comes from property taxes, which place an undue burden on working, middle class homeowners, many of whom are new families that have just purchased their first home. We need an overhaul of our revenue system so that the middle class is protected.

The 405 tolls increase congestion and price out middle-class drivers who cannot afford them. Toll lanes should be eliminated, and the number of passengers required to use the HOV lanes should be reduced to two in order to relieve congestion.

Evan Smith can be reached at


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