|By Jordan Schrader, The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The candidates to succeed Rep.
Voters in the
The 31st is a right-leaning district, so it's a bit of a surprise that just one Republican stepped up to seek an open seat.
Stokesbary, 29, has built ties in the
McKenna, the former attorney general and gubernatorial candidate, is a role model. Stokesbary shares some of McKenna's views on how to address a court order for more education funding, embracing his call to dedicate a set share of the state's growing revenue to schools. He also gives tentative support to a McKenna plan to raise more money by swapping an increased state property tax for lower local levies. Some property owners would pay more under the swap, and if those end up concentrated in his district he said he might have to rethink his support.
He would consider closing some tax exemptions as part of raising the money, as Democrats have demanded.
Like the moderate wing of the Senate GOP, he's willing to consider a gas-tax package that would fund
"If enough of those are adopted and we can get the cost of highway infrastructure a little bit more in line with the actual infrastructure itself that's been delivered, I think I'd be willing to support a package," said Stokesbary, who has worked on transportation policy for
While Stokesbary would be among the younger lawmakers if elected, Dunn, 24, would be the youngest.
Dunn is a
Dunn, who lists himself on the ballot as an "independent Dem," is a proponent of charter schools who also plays up his support for gun rights.
He might be the most hesitant of all three candidates about increasing gas taxes. But he doesn't rule it out if done as part of a bipartisan deal that includes policies such as changing how sales-tax revenues from road projects are spent. They now go to the state's general fund and Republicans have demanded to have them plowed back into transportation needs.
He is in favor of the levy swap idea as part of funding schools while making property taxes standardized and permanent. Dunn also said he wants changes to the business-and-occupations tax to make the revenue system more fair without adding an income tax.
"I see our tax system as being unfair both for people and for businesses," Dunn said.
Of the three, Sando is the only one with elected experience after winning a seat on the
A history and government teacher at
Sando served as an aide to former state Sen.
He said reducing testing can save millions of dollars for schools. Redirecting money from the state superintendent's office would also help, he says. Those savings would likely fall short of the more than
Unlike Dunn, he is wary of charter schools pulling students and money away from traditional schools.
On transportation, he says any revenue package may need to go to a public vote.
Sando is a supporter of gun rights who says background checks should be expanded at the federal level, not in
Stokesbary has raised more than
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