Democrat Mark Mullet claims lead in state Senate bout

November 6, 2012

Mark Mullet embraces wife Sabath at Zeeks Pizza on election night moments after initial results give him a lead in the race against Brad Toft for the 5th Legislative District’s state Senate seat. By Greg Farrar

UPDATED — 9:25 p.m. Nov. 6, 2012

The unexpectedly ugly race to represent Issaquah in the state Senate neared a coda Tuesday as Democrat Mark Mullet claimed a lead in initial results.

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Maria Cantwell discusses jobs at Issaquah campaign stop

November 2, 2012

NEW — 12:30 p.m. Nov. 2, 2012

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell focused on the economy and education during a campaign stop at Issaquah’s Gilman Village early Friday, and urged voters to return ballots by the Tuesday deadline.

Maria Cantwell

Cantwell’s 26-city “Jobs for Washington” bus tour across the state stopped at the Issaquah Coffee Co. In remarks to a group of sign-toting supporters and local dignitaries, she emphasized efforts to aid small businesses since the economy collapsed in 2008.

“In my opinion, a lot of money went to Wall Street and the five big banks, and Main Street got the short end of the stick,” she said. “Well, we worked hard to try to correct that by passing a new bill to help support community banks who would lend to small business. In fact, that program helped banks from Issaquah to Bellingham increase their lending to small businesses by as much as 24 percent.”

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The Issaquah Press’ general election endorsements

October 30, 2012

See the editorial board’s recommendations for congressional and legislative candidates, and statewide ballot measures, in the Nov. 6 general election.

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Editorial

October 30, 2012

Vote no Initiative 1185

Washington voters approved a two-thirds legislative majority for taxes in 1993, 1998, 2007 and most recently in 2010.

Proponents argue that the two-thirds majority measure on this year’s ballot, Initiative 1185, is again needed to keep state legislators in line. In fact, a two-thirds requirement gives the minority — in this case, a small group of state senators — the unfair advantage to shut down any proposed tax increase.

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Legislative candidates focus on education at forum

October 23, 2012

Candidates staked moderate positions and touted the importance of education as the contenders for offices to represent Issaquah in Olympia gathered for a candidate forum Oct. 18.

Education emerged as the signature theme in the races to represent local constituents in the state Senate and state House of Representatives. Candidates also tackled issues related to taxation, transportation, land use and — as lawmakers prepare for more budget cuts next year — government spending.

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Editorial

October 23, 2012

Our endorsements for state representatives

Local voters face some clear choices in the legislative races on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Issaquah is divided between the 5th and 41st legislative districts. Redistricting has changed district boundaries, but most Issaquah neighborhoods remain inside the 5th District.

North Issaquah and neighborhoods along Lake Sammamish shifted into the 41st District. Cougar Mountain west of state Route 900 and areas north of Interstate 90 act as the dividing lines.

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Local legislative candidates answer questions

October 16, 2012

Click on the image to read candidate responses from state House of Representatives and state Senate candidates in the 5th and 41st legislative districts.

5th Legislative District — state House of Representatives

Chad Magendanz

How can the state fulfill its “paramount duty” to fund education, despite budget limitations?

• Budget writers must follow the Supreme Court ruling to fund education as our “first and highest priority before any other state programs or operations.”

What specific steps can state government take to entice businesses to expand or relocate to Washington?

Reduce burdensome regulations by aligning with federal standards, reform workers compensation and unemployment insurance programs to lower costs, and simplify the B&O tax structure.

What specific steps can state government take to increase revenue, despite the existing limitations?

A revenue-neutral swap of state property tax for local school levies would bring $1 billion of education funding into a more regular and dependable tax structure.

What specific steps can state government take to shore up Washington’s higher education system?

Return to a 50-50 deal with university students and restore funding levels to their historical average, rather than just 8 percent of the general fund.

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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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Acrimonious 5th Legislative District contest could reshape state Senate

October 16, 2012

Mark Mullet

Brad Toft

The candidate no longer in the race looms over the contest for the 5th Legislative District’s state Senate seat.

Cheryl Pflug, a Republican former senator and erstwhile candidate, is a constant presence in the race — in television spots supporting the Democrat in the contest and in diatribes from Republicans.

The acrimonious race to succeed Pflug pits the Democrat, Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet, against Republican Brad Toft, a manager for a national financial services firm and a Snoqualmie resident.

In a race focused on the economy and education, distractions abound — including Toft’s past legal troubles and accusations of dirty campaign tactics from both sides.

Toft entered the race late last year, before Mullet announced plans to run and Pflug filed for re-election.

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Voters can meet congressional, legislative candidates at forum

October 16, 2012

Hear from the candidates for offices in Olympia and Washington, D.C., Oct. 18 at a candidate forum cosponsored by The Issaquah Press, the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters.

The lineup includes candidates for the state House of Representatives and state Senate, plus Democrat Karen Porterfield, a candidate to represent Issaquah in Congress.

The forum is meant to offer voters a chance to learn about local candidates as the clock ticks down to Election Day. King County Elections is due to mail ballots to voters by Oct. 19.

Voters can join the event at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Issaquah City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way. Or, Issaquah residents can also watch the candidate forum live on the local government access channel, ICTV Channel 21.

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