As expected, every challenger appearing at Monday night’s Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Candidate’s Forum promised that they would do a better job than the incumbent in solving the many problems facing local, state and federal governments.
What follows is the second part of our summary on the Chamber’s annual forum featuring Washington State Legislative and Congressional candidates. (You can read Monday’s report on the statewide initiatives presented here.)
7th Congressional District candidates Ron Bemis and Jim McDermott
Republican Ron Bemis told the audience that it’s time to retire his opponent, 11-term Congressman Jim McDermott, who is running to represent Edmonds after the city was included in his 7th District following redistricting last year. Promising to bring “recovery, reform and results,” in contrast to McDermott’s “44-year record of high costs and low results.”
“Times have changed, he hasn’t. it’s time to let him retire,” Bemis said, describing McDermott as a free-wheeling spender and blaming him for the country’s deep debt. The Seattle attorney also called his opponent, a Seattle psychiatrist, ineffective, noting that he been given a rating of “F” by several nonpartisan organizations and that “0 percent of his bills have even gotten out of committee.”
McDermott launched into some of the issues currently facing the country and the region, including the Affordable Care Act — set to be implemented nationwide in 2013 — which he called “a huge social change, one that is too long in the coming,” and the current practice of running trains filled with coal through Edmonds, on their way to China — “short-sighted and not in anyone’s best interest.” He said the country must do a better job of finding alternative energy sources, noting that Germany produces 40 percent of its energy from the sun, “and they have worse weather than we do.”
21st District State Representative Position 2 candidates Marko Liias and Kevin Morrison
Democrat Marko Liias said during his time in the Legislature he has focused on “a few key” issues, including job creation and helping small businesses, and making sure that public schools have the resources they need.
GOP challenger Kevin Morrison said he is running to “stand up to the craziness” in Olympia. In particular, Morrison said he is committed to protecting the two-thirds majority requirement — approved by voters — to raise taxes.
32nd District State Representative Position 1 candidates Randy Hayden and Cindy Ryu
Challenger Randy Hayden is a 25-year Edmonds resident who has been a volunteer with the Sno-King Youth Club and the Everett Gospel Mission. The GOP challenger noted that state spending has increased 130 percent but social services continue to be cut, “and you wonder where the money is going.” “Good government balances compasion with responsibility and I think right now our government is really failing those who need help,” Hayden said.
First-term incumbent and Democrat Cindy Ryu is a former City of Shoreline councilmember and mayor, who ran for office”because as an immigrant, I felt it was time to give back to my adopted land — America.” A small business owner who served as president of the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce, Ryu’s focus in the Legislature was on assisting small businesses and increasing consumer protections, including the facial recognition bill to protect the security of driver’s licenses and prevent identity theft.
32nd District State Representative Position 2 candidates Ruth Kagi and Robert Reedy
A 14-year member of the state Legislature, Democrat Ruth Kagi chairs the House of Representative’s Early Learning/Human Services Committee and focuses on child abuse/neglect and early childhood education. “I firmly believe as we look at our K-12 system and the high dropout rate that we have, we need to pay much more attention to children coming to school on an even playing field,” she said. Solutions include high-quality preschools and educating parents on the importance of talking and reading to their children from an early age, added Kagi, who lives in Lake Forest Park.
A Mountlake Terrace resident, GOP candidate Robert Reedy said the Legislature needs to focus on creating jobs. “I think that the best economic and welfare program that we can have is people having good-paying jobs,” Reedy said. “John Kennedy was absolutely right: the rising tide lifts all boats. Let’s start by helping people get jobs and get away from state dependence.”
You can watch the full two-hour forum starting Thursday on cable channels 21 and 39 and we will also have the program available for on-demand viewing on My Edmonds News. Ballots will be mailed to voters on Oct. 19 and must be returned by election day, Nov. 6.