41st Legislative District candidates tout successes to appeal to moderate voters

October 16, 2012

Maureen Judge

Steve Litzow

Redistricting shifted more Issaquah neighborhoods into the 41st Legislative District, alongside Mercer Island, Newcastle and parts of Bellevue and Sammamish.

The contest to represent the affluent, suburban district in the state Senate is between Mercer Island residents Maureen Judge, a Democrat, and Steve Litzow, a Republican freshman senator.

In 2010, Litzow defeated appointed incumbent Randy Gordon by 192 votes to represent the district in the Senate. The candidates battled to fill the unexpired term of former Sen. Fred Jarrett, a Republican-turned-Democrat and the current King County deputy executive.

“Fred Jarrett, who was an early endorser of mine and is very beloved and well-known in the 41st, has said to me, ‘Maureen, always remember that this is not a blue district, it’s not a red district. It’s a purple district,’” Judge said.

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Press Editorial

October 16, 2012

Vote to approve same-sex marriage

Referendum 74 offers Washington voters a historic chance to expand civil rights to same-sex couples.

In February, after receiving crucial support from local lawmakers in the state House of Representatives and state Senate, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed landmark legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. Opponents petitioned to put the measure before voters on the November ballot.

Washington already affords rights to same-sex couples, but the existing law is incomplete. Marriage is a basic civil right.

In 2009, voters approved Referendum 71, or the state’s “everything-but-marriage” law, to expand domestic partnership rights. Both sides in the R-74 campaign realize marriage — both the institution and the word — is the key piece missing from existing state law.

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Press Editorial

October 9, 2012

Join conversation at candidate forum

In 2008, fueled in part by the historic candidacy of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land, voters engaged in the political process in a once-in-a-generation way.

Though 2012 cannot recapture the sense of excitement, contests up and down the ballot merit some serious attention from Issaquah voters. So much attention is focused on the race for president, but Washington voters must decide important races for governor and other executive positions.

Voters also face a chance to make history through ballot measures to legalize marijuana and affirm the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

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Personal stories define Referendum 74 discussion

September 25, 2012

Dana Alixander (left) and partner Sage Alixander stand on the staircase of their Sammamish home with their California-issued marriage license and photographs chronicling their life together. By Greg Farrar

In the moments before the state Senate voted on a landmark same-sex marriage bill Feb. 1, Dana Alixander joined other supporters in the gallery overlooking the chamber.

“I was there, waiting for history to happen — and terrified that it wouldn’t,” she said in a recent interview.

Legislators, after impassioned debate, passed the bill and sent the measure to the state House of Representatives for consideration. In February, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the legislation as supporters looked on from the packed State Reception Room at the Capitol.

The measure, Referendum 74, goes before voters on the November ballot. Opponents to the same-sex marriage law gathered enough voter signatures to put the measure before the electorate.

R-74 is the centerpiece in a high-dollar, high-profile contest in the national battle between same-sex proponents and foes.

Alixander headed to Olympia to support marriage rights — a long-running fight for the Sammamish resident and partner of 22 years, Sage. (In 2008, Sage and Dana got married in California before Proposition 8 outlawed same-sex marriages there.)

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Wanted: Local ties to same-sex marriage debate

August 21, 2012

Washington is poised to decide the fate of a landmark same-sex marriage law on the November ballot.

Referendum 74 asks voters to approve or reject a same-sex marriage measure passed by state legislators and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Washington state has had a domestic partnership law — or “everything but marriage” law — in place since 2009.

The Issaquah Press is seeking local ties to the R-74 debate, especially same-sex couples in the Issaquah School District.

Email your contact information to editor@isspress.com, or contact the newspaper on Twitter at www.twitter.com/issaquahpress, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/issaquahpress by Sept. 5.

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