House candidates in 41st Legislative District focus on education, economy

October 9, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

The candidates in the 41st Legislative District race for a state House of Representatives seat cast the contest as a choice between experience in business or experience in government.

Tim Eaves

Marcie Maxwell

Voters elected the incumbent, Renton Democrat Marcie Maxwell, in 2008 and again in 2010. Republican Tim Eaves, a political newcomer and a longtime Issaquah resident, decided to challenge Maxwell days before the candidate-filing period closed in May.

Both candidates said education is the top priority among the 41st District electorate, and Maxwell and Eaves often field questions about education policy as they canvass the district.

Eaves, who owns a small business in Lynnwood, said he sees a link between education and the economy.

“As a small business owner, the feedstock, if you will, for my employee force is high school graduates,” he said. “We need to concentrate on K-12 education. For the state, it is the paramount responsibility of the state to educate our kids. We need to do that, and I believe we need to do that first.”

Maxwell, a real estate agent and a former Renton School Board member, is regarded as a staunch advocate for education in the Legislature.

“In and around our 41st District, we have great companies, large and small, with innovative job opportunities for the future, and they need skilled workers,” Maxwell said.

Key endorsements

Local legislative candidates amassed a list of endorsements in the race for state House of Representatives seats.

41st Legislative District

Marcie Maxwell

  • League of Education Voters
  • King County Executive Dow Constantine

Tim Eaves

  • State Attorney General Rob McKenna
  • State Sen. Dino Rossi

The incumbent lawmaker points to a link between education and the economy, another major concern among local voters.

“We want to make sure that our students who graduate from high school and postsecondary education, and adults who are retraining for new careers later in life, are prepared and can take those jobs,” she said.

Redistricting shifted Eaves from the 48th Legislative District into the 41st District last year, and he entered the race against Maxwell almost at the last minute, after other potential challengers passed on campaign bids.

In 2010, Maxwell defeated a little-known Republican challenger by a comfortable, eight-point margin in a strong year for the GOP.

Still, Eaves said Maxwell does not share the priorities of voters in the redrawn 41st District, particularly on taxation issues.

“The state needs to balance budgets without raising taxes,” he said. “There are two schools of thought. One is, we’re spending too much and the other is, we’re not taking in enough money. I’m from the spending-too-much school, and I would like to see us balance our budgets with existing revenue.”

Maxwell said her record in the Legislature reflects voters’ concerns throughout the district.

“I have a proven record as a leader in the Legislature on issues that are important to my district,” she said. “I also have worked tirelessly in all of my communities to be involved year round and to listen to what makes a community tick — what’s important to residents and local businesses and elected officials.”

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