The Federal Way Mirror’s endorsements for LD 30 state House

Oct 18, 2016

The Mirror's Editorial Board researched and interviewed candidates in a host of races important to Federal Way so it could make informed voting recommendations in important elections. Each candidate who met with the board was afforded no less than 45 minutes to talk about themselves, their positions and their goals if elected, as well as to answer a variety of questions posed by the seven-member panel.

Having completed that process with all four candidates for the two Legislative District 30 Washington House of Representatives seats, the Mirror recommends Federal Way residents cast their votes for Mike Pellicciotti for Position 1 and for Kristine Reeves for Position 2.

For Position 1, Federal Way voters have a choice between a longtime public servant and a fresh, intelligent voice that shows a willingness to look at problems in the state from a new, broad perspective. The former is worthy of our lasting respect, but the latter, embodied by Mike Pellicciotti, is worthy of our vote.

Pellicciotti, once an attorney with the King County Prosecutor's Office and now a prosecutor with the Washington Attorney General's Office, displays a honed mind adept at dealing with nuance, complexity, and potential unintended consequences, all of which will serve him well in Olympia. His arguments against levy swaps – noting the existing revenue disparities and arguing that, even if approved, will only work for so long before backfiring – portend a representative who would approach important decisions from a logical, well-thought-out, data-driven vantage point. He's proven himself to be low on bluster and high on attention to detail, and the complicated matters headed to the capitol will be best served by such qualities.

Kochmar has been a fierce advocate for District 30 and for Federal Way for three decades, and her passion, dedication and motivations are beyond reproach. But issues like homelessness, population growth, education funding and revenue shortfalls will not be solved by viewing them solely through a local lens – they are regional issues that demand a broader perspective to tackle, and Pellicciotti has proven far more willing to embrace that perspective.

For these and other reasons, the Mirror recommends voters for Pos. 1 Legislative District 30 state representative cast their vote for Mike Pellicciotti.

For Position 2, incumbent Rep. Teri Hickel is running for her second term against political newcomer Kristine Reeves. Reeves brings a boldness, passion and intelligence to the race that will force attention to be paid to District 30, and she has emerged as the right choice for this election.

Reeves' autobiography – she tells of being a product of foster care, getting kicked out at 16 and finding redemption through education – informs her worldview in a way that ensures poverty, homelessness and the opportunity gap in our community will not be entirely brushed over in legislative decisions. Her present circumstances – economic development director at the state, mother of two and public transportation user – are relevant to the vital issues facing District 30. And her characteristics – intelligence, fearlessness, passion and creativity – bode well for a lawmaker representing a district as challenging as the 30th. The comprehensiveness of her knowledge of Federal Way-relevant proposals needs work, but her effectiveness should come as a natural outgrowth of her boldness.

Hickel, like Kochmar, is an unquestioned community champion and an advocate for our area, but her approach to statewide issues in Olympia betrays a level of circumspection and caution that has proven largely ineffective in dealing with the area's current concerns. Hickel is a great Federal Wayan and a decent choice in her own right, but she is not the best candidate in this race at this time.

Reeves needs to familiarize herself with the nuances of the issues she'll face, but she has all the makings of an excellent legislator and a great representative for Federal Way in Olympia. The Mirror recommends voters pick Kristine Reeves when they vote for Pos. 2 in the Legislative District 30 state representative race.