Here are STB’s endorsements for the November election. We’ve already written about our support for Seattle Transportation Proposition 1 (more bus service) and rejection of Seattle Citizen Petition 1 (monorail planning).
As always, our endorsements are entirely the product of a candidate’s positions and record on transit and land use. We endorse only in races where one candidate has exceptional strengths or exceptional weaknesses relative to their opponent.
The editorial board currently consists of Martin H. Duke, Frank Chiachiere, Matthew Johnson, and Brent White.
21st District: Sen. Marko Liias has long been an ardent transit advocate, as Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee, and now on the Senate Transportation Committee. He was the lone voice of firm opposition on the committee when Sen. Bob Hasegawa sponsored his ridiculous bill to force Sound Transit to subsidize car ownership around train stations. If retained, Liias would be in an excellent position to replace retiring Sen. Tracey Eide as the top Democrat on the Senate Transportation Committee.
37th District: In Seattle races, almost everyone is for transit funding and the real discriminator is land use. Pramila Jayapal, running for the seat of the retiring Adam Kline, had the right answer on the crucially important North Rainier rezone. Her opponent didn’t.
45th District: Matt Isenhower told us he supports expanded ST3 authority for Sound Transit. He also wants to increase the share of the state transportation budget spent on public transit, since our state is near worst in the nation on state transit funding. His opponent has ignored multiple opportunities to tell us his position on transportation issues. As one of the few possible Democratic pickups this year, this race could determine if ST3 is on the ballot in 2016.
48th District: Rep. Cyrus Habib was one of the rare state legislators who endorsed King County Proposition 1 last spring. In fact, he campaigned pretty hard for it. Now, he is running for the state senate seat being vacated by Sen. Rodney Tom. For Habib, transit isn’t just an issue. It’s an essential part of daily living. There is nothing like having a bus rider in the senate to put transit front and center, and Mr. Habib can make the case in business terms that many senators understand.
27th, Pos. 2: Rep. Jake Fey was a positive voice on both the Pierce Transit and Sound Transit Boards while in other elected positions. He is too enthusiastic about extending Highway 167, but that is understandable for a Tacoma Representative. Most importantly, we expect him to be the most effective advocate for ST3 from Pierce County.
34th, Pos. 2: Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon wrote a piece on transit following the defeat of King County Proposition 1 this past spring. He led the fight on Governor Inslee’s climate change task force to include transportation in any carbon pricing scheme. He has worked hard to make sure Washington’s regional mobility grants go to the projects that rank highest according to objective criteria, rather than spread around to well-connected rural districts where neither need for transit nor acceptance of taxes is as great.
46th, Pos. 2: Rep. Jessyn Farrell is a Transportation Choices Coalition veteran who remains engaged on local transportation issues, such as the selection of new SDOT director Scott Kubly. She is a reliable vote to support alternatives to the car. More importantly, she is one of three vice chairs of the House Transportation Committee.
48th, Pos. 1: Rep. Ross Hunter has a reputation as a numbers guy, and that aptitude leads him to understand the geometry that demands both more density and more transit investment. His opponent is running to “expose” the “debacle” of light rail.
48th, Pos. 2: Joan McBride mentions funding transit and fighting climate change as priorities in her voters’ guide statement. Her opponent mentions neither, but running as a libertarian is a poor indicator on both issues. She is well-connected to the Eastside leaders that will be telling her that ST3 is a high priority for Eastside communities.