Issaquah School Board member Chad Magendanz launches campaign for Legislature

January 5, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 11:35 a.m. Jan. 5, 2011

In a campaign announcement focused on dollars for education, Chad Magendanz, a Republican and the Issaquah School Board president, entered the race Thursday to represent Issaquah and rural East King County in the Legislature.

Chad Magendanz

Magendanz, a Tiger Mountain resident in Issaquah, launched the local campaign season days after state leaders offered a re-contoured legislative district for the Issaquah area and a little more than a week after the longtime incumbent, GOP state Rep. Glenn Anderson, opted against running for the seat in 2012.

“Much of the policy that affects our kids is not made in the district, it’s made down in Olympia. That’s where the funding for the most part is, and that’s where the major decisions are made as far as the future of education,” Magendanz said to business and education leaders gathered at the King County Library System headquarters in Issaquah.

“If we’re going to enact meaningful education reform, we need to have a voice down there in Olympia,” he added.

The kickoff reflected Magendanz’s experience on the school board, and state and national education organizations. The former U.S. Navy nuclear submarine officer highlighted the Issaquah School District’s accomplishments in the campaign announcement.

“We’re putting the limited resources we have into the classroom where it does the most good — and that’s an approach that I think can work very well in Olympia,” he said in front of a campaign banner reading, “For our children!”

In addition to leading the school board, Magendanz, 44, is a a freelance software design consultant. Issaquah board members appointed him to the panel in 2008, and he ran unopposed for the seat in 2009.

No other candidate, Democrat or Republican, is yet in the race for the seat Anderson has held for almost a dozen years. The other local lawmaker in the state House of Representatives — Republican Jay Rodne — is also up for re-election in 2012. Anderson, meanwhile, is in the race for lieutenant governor.

“Welcome to the election cycle of 2012,” 5th Legislative District Republican Chairman Bob Brunjes said before introducing Magendanz.

Washington State Redistricting Commission members crafted a more rural district 5th Legislative District friendlier to Republicans. The redrawn political map shifts neighborhoods in northern and western Issaquah into the suburban 41st Legislative District.

Magendanz plans to embark on a “listening tour” of district communities to collect input from voters. Besides Issaquah, the reshaped 5th District includes the East Renton Highlands — another Issaquah School District community — Black Diamond, Carnation, Maple Valley, North Bend and Snoqualmie.

“My focus is going to be on fiscal responsibility, education and the environment, but the details and specifics of those talking points and the priorities of those talking points are still very much in flux, because I want to hear from you first,” he said.

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