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By SEATTLEPI.COM EDITORIAL BOARD
As a 40-plus year political activist, State Rep. Maralyn Chase has campaigned for civil rights and against the Vietnam War, fought for a fair tax structure, and championed renewable clean energy.
She has been a contentious activist, carrying on feuds even within the Democratic Party.
Seattlepi.com endorses her for Washington state Senate in the 32nd District, turf divided between King and Snohomish Counties. She is a progressive prod in a capital where, all too often, any reform is considered not worth doing until proven otherwise.
It's a tough choice, since Republicans have in Kenmore Mayor David Baker fielded a candidate with broad civic experience.
Baker is pledging to fund quality schools, make communities safer and work for transportation improvements. At the same time, however, Baker promises to "control runaway spending" and boasts of voting against "every proposed tax increase" as a city councilman.
The state should control spending, but investment in schools and colleges and transportation is integral to Washington's future growth and emergence from the Great Recession.
At the same time, two words of advice for Chase: Cool it! Wear the opposition of some as a badge of honor. With colleagues, however, be more cooperative and less preachy. The Senate Democratic Caucus is a big tent.
Two quality candidates are vying for the House seat currently held by Chase.
Cindy Ryu, a Democrat, is a prized recruit for a very difficult job. She is a former Shoreline mayor, has headed the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce, done all sorts of community work, and served as a neighborhood Allstate Insurance agent for 18 years.
Dr. Art Coday, a physician, started the year as a Republican candidate against Sen. Patty Murray, but moved to the legislative race after GOP leaders recruited Dino Rossi to run.
He follows a familiar, contradictory line, pledging to work for more spent in schools while saying he wants to "lower tax rates."
Seattlepi.com endorses Ryu.
Incumbent State Rep. Ruth Kagi, a Democrat, is a former League of Women Voters leader and chair of the House Early Learning and Children's Services Committee.
Kagi was rated "Outstanding" by the Municipal League of King County. Although billing himself "an internationally known business strategist," Republican opponent Gary Gagliardi received an "Adequate."
Kagi is a more-than-adequate legislator. We endorses her re-election.