The Mirror’s Editorial Board researched and interviewed all six candidates for the three 30th Legislative District seats.
For Position 1, the Mirror recommends Federal Way residents vote for Mike Pellicciotti (D).
The incumbent is a welcome beam of light who has proven over the past two years that he is committed to transparency in policies and government. Pellicciotti successfully introduced a bill last year to get “dark money” out of politics by requiring associations that give money to state and local political campaigns to disclose the source of that money. He was the first legislator to speak out against the Legislature’s attempt to hide lawmakers’ public records, while voluntarily disclosing his own.
Pellicciotti has proven to be an intelligent and capable leader who is unafraid to shake things up in Olympia to ensure government works for the people.
His challenger, Linda Kochmar (R), is a trusted voice who has represented the district with integrity for two decades. Her passion and dedication as a former state representative, Federal Way City Council member and Federal Way mayor are commendable. But the 30th District needs a leader who has demonstrated they will challenge the status quo. Pellicciotti is that person and merits re-election.
For Position 2, the Mirror recommends incumbent Kristine Reeves (D), a legislator who has demonstrated she is willing to roll up her sleeves and work for her 30th District constituents.
A fierce champion for veterans, Reeves spent her freshman session in Olympia advocating for military service members, veterans and their families by sponsoring and co-sponsoring measures to improve transition services and increase higher education assistance, among other initiatives.
During the last legislative session, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and the Governor’s Veterans Advisory Committee honored Reeves as Legislator of the Year for her work supporting veterans and their families. This work included her successful passage of the Wounded Warrior Shared Leave Act, a program that gives state employees who are veterans or a spouse of a veteran access to a shared leave pool during the traditional probation period, when leave isn’t awarded.
Being a working mother of two children gives Reeves the perspective of looking at issues through a parental prism, including her approach to tackling gun safety with common sense legislation.
Her opponent, Mark Greene (R), has proposed unique solutions to some of the issues facing the district. But he lacks political experience and has not conveyed a deep understanding of the issues themselves.
Voters in the 30th District would best be served by voting to re-elect Reeves.
After a robust discussion in an attempt to break the deadlock (one editorial board member did not vote), the board decided that both candidates vying for the state Senate seat are viable and therefore worthy of your vote.
Republican incumbent Mark Miloscia’s strength is his seniority in the Legislature, which has afforded him the opportunity to build relationships in Olympia. He vows to bring accountability to Olympia, and supports an evidence-based approach using metrics and data.
Democratic challenger Wilson’s strength is that she is a stalwart supporter of local students and has 35 years of experience in early childhood education. She is committed to ensuring that Federal Way school programs are fully funded and Federal Way students’ best interests are top-of-mind.
Both candidates have their weaknesses as well. Miloscia has taken some controversial stances as a lawmaker and therefore has ostracized part of his constituency, while Wilson has demonstrated inclusivity as a school board president. Wilson would be a newcomer to Olympia and does not have as deep of an understanding of the issues as Miloscia.
How you cast your vote will depend on which candidates’ values and policy outlooks best match your principles.
The Mirror’s Editorial Board is a seven-member panel made up of the Mirror’s publisher, its editor, and five residents from the community. The positions expressed in editorials produced by the board are the Mirror’s official positions, and those positions are decided following a simple majority vote taken after extensive consideration, discussion, and a preponderance of information.