5th Legislative District House contest includes familiar faces
October 9, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
Education is the No. 1 priority for state House of Representatives candidates in the 5th Legislative District — a local school board member and a citizen advocate for education.
Issaquah School Board member Chad Magendanz, a Republican, and North Bend Democrat David Spring remain focused on education in the race for a rare, open House seat.
In a 7-2 ruling delivered in January, state Supreme Court justices said the state is not fulfilling the “paramount duty” to fund education. Both candidates in the 5th District race said education funding is a bipartisan issue.
“There’s a huge amount of work to do together,” Magendanz said. “When you set aside all of the partisan rhetoric and you really focus on what needs to be done for our kids, for our future, there is a lot of work there.”
Issaquah School Board members appointed Magendanz to the panel in 2008. The software design consultant ran unopposed for the seat in 2009.
Magendanz said lessons learned in the high-performing Issaquah School District could benefit schools statewide.
“When we go from our 18,000 kids to the million kids in the state, there are a very different set of problems that the rest of the state has,” he said.
Local legislative candidates amassed a list of endorsements in the race for state House of Representatives seats.
5th Legislative District
Spring, a former small business owner and Bellevue College instructor, is passionate about education policy, particularly how decisions in Olympia impact local school districts.
“Parents are not very happy with teachers being laid off,” he said. “When we get more and more students and have fewer and fewer teachers, that’s a bad combination.”
Spring also advocates for additional funding for higher education and for more affordable college tuition at state universities.
The influence of corporate money in the political process is another hallmark issue for Spring.
“A lot of these people, they are not Republicans, they are not Democrats,” he said. “In fact, quite a few of them don’t like either political party. I think that these independent voters have a point — that there’s too much money in politics.”
The seat in the Legislature opened after incumbent state Rep. Glenn Anderson announced plans to step down and run — albeit unsuccessfully — for lieutenant governor.
Local voters elected the Fall City Republican in 2000 and subsequently in even-numbered years since. In 2010, Anderson cruised to re-election against Spring, the same candidate Anderson faced in a tight race in 2008.
Spring lacks support from 5th District and statewide Democratic organizations, a repeat from 2010. He attributes the dearth of support to critical comments about party policies and the influence of money in politics.
“The leaders of the Democratic Party do not like to hear people in the Democratic Party saying critical things about the Democratic Party,” Spring said. “But I believe that it’s important to tell the truth.”