Three Democrats stress health care, other issues in District 32 race

Monday, June 29, 2020

(Editor’s note: This is part of a series of responses to questions we’re sending to candidates running in the Aug. 4 primary election. We will present responses to our questions from candidates for state representative positions in the 32nd and 46th legislative districts. After these general issue questions, future questions will come from readers. Send questions for the candidates to

Sutton, Smith, Ryu

By Evan Smith

Incumbent State Rep. Cindy Ryu faces fellow Democrats Keith Smith and Shirley Sutton in the Aug. 4 primary election, with the two leaders advancing to the Nov. 3 general election. No Republicans or independents filed to run for the position.

Ryu, who is seeking a sixth two-year term; Smith, who lost to Ryu and a Republican in the 2018 primary; and Sutton, a former Lynnwood City Councilwoman; are running to represent the 32nd Legislative District, which includes Shoreline, part of northwest Seattle, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, south Edmonds, Lynnwood and a small part of Mountlake Terrace.

All three Democrats stress health care among other issues in the campaign.

The three recently sent answers to the question, “What is the most important issue or issues that you are emphasizing in your campaign?” Here are their responses (presented in the order that their names will appear on the primary ballot and in the voters’ pamphlet):

Shirley Sutton (Prefers Democratic Party)

Affordable Housing – I would support builders who build affordable housing on public lands, if necessary, given an ironclad guarantee that the project remain in the public domain.

Healthcare - Is a basic human right period! I would support a single payer system.

Tax Fairness - Low income people pay almost 20% of their income in taxes. Some big business and wealthy individuals none at all. We need to address the regressive taxes in the State

Keith Smith (Prefers Democratic Party)

Public health is the most important issue. Both the COVID crisis and policing. As an essential worker, I know businesses are not caring for the community. Appropriate pay, PPE, and sanitation will keep workers and the community healthy.

Fully funding our mental health and substance abuse treatment centers will keep police from being social workers. We will get people the treatments they need, and get the police to focus on violent crime, not social work.

Cindy Ryu (Prefers Democratic Party)

My priorities are rental assistance and best practices such as Rent Repayment Plans as both tenants and landlords weather and recover from this COVID-19 pandemic. I will continue to focus on protecting education funding, ensuring the safety of our communities, safeguarding the environment, infrastructure funding, and pushing for more affordable housing and home ownership, local businesses and jobs, and help make Washington state a better place for us to live, work, and raise our families.

Evan Smith can be reached at


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