Thank you all for your continued support! Ballots should be arriving today or tomorrow and I hope you will vote, and vote for me when you do. I have chosen to not visually pollute our community with yard signs this year, and have not buried you with postcards, flyers, robocalls and TV ads. Almost 70% of you supported me in the primary, and I hope I can convince enough of the rest of you that you’ll inch it over the 70% number in the general election. (I still have competitiveness issues.)
Seattle Times: “…incumbent state Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, should be returned to Olympia in Position 1. The House Appropriations Committee chairman delivers a direly needed pragmatic view of the state’s challenges in meeting the state Supreme Court’s McCleary order to fully fund basic education. The Legislature would be weaker without him.”
Municipal League: “Outstanding“, their highest rating.
A long list of groups have supported or endorsed me as well, including:
- Washington Conservation Voters (These guys need a newer picture – I have not had this much hair for a while)
- League of Education Voters
- WA State Labor Council
- WA Education Association
- Seattle-King County Association of Realtors
- NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Planned Parenthood Votes WA
- A host of individual business interests – click here to see the list
I’m proud of the work I’ve done negotiating a balanced budget for the last four years and making some (but clearly not adequate for the court) progress on education funding. We have a super-interesting session ahead of us meeting our constitutional responsibilities for funding education, putting the state, cities and counties on a stable financial footing, and moving forward on transportation. I hope (and intend) to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Again, thank you for your support.
My thanks go out to the voters in the 48th district for their support this year. I was pleased to get almost 70% in the primary, about the same as the results I had in 2012 running against the same opponent.
I will need to put in real work to get this kind of result in the general election, but it’s pleasing to have this kind of outcome.
(Updated Sept 24 to add link to Gates study on early learning.)
I participated in the first candidate forum of the season this morning at the Bellevue Downtown Association. We had candidates from the 41st and 48th district races providing 1-minute answers to questions. It was pretty typical of these kind of events. I don’t think I was as entertaining as I sometimes am, mostly because I got in at about midnight last night after a 24-hour travel experience and a time differential of ten time zones.
My notes from the meeting are mostly chicken scratches on BDA notepaper as I lay out the talking points for individual questions, but I also try to capture what other people say when I find it interesting. There were a couple of points made that I thought were just wrong and I wanted to highlight them and give a somewhat cogent counter-argument. The format wasn’t set up for us to be able to argue about statements people made.
One of the questions was a softball about education – what would you do about it. Many of the candidates mentioned supporting high-quality early learning, but one person quoted an often misunderstood head start study and claimed that we shouldn’t invest in pre-K at all because of it. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m hosting the 48th District Democrats summer picnic at my house in Medina. We’d love to see you! Wednesday August 20th 6-9PM We’re using “Eventbright” to track RSVPs to ensure there is enough beer and burgers, so clicking here will get you a free ticket.
As you drive around town the campaign litter is starting to appear. I’m not putting signs up during the primary, so I’m sending you this virtual yard sign instead. (These are left over from 2 years ago…) I am running for re-election, and I hope you’ll vote for me in the primary. It’s often hard to know how to make up your mind in not very prominent elections like this, so some tidbits that might help you decide:
- I’m rated “Outstanding” by the non-partisan Municipal League. This is their highest rating. My opponent is rated “not-qualified.”
- I have a long list of endorsements from business, labor, education, healthcare, and environmental groups.
- The Stranger endorsed me. It’s dangerous to include links to their writing as it is not always “family-friendly.” Read at your own risk. (The comments are pretty funny though.)
You can read both my and my opponent’s candidate statement on the on-line voter’s pamphlet (actual pamphlets in the primary were a casualty of budget cuts during the recession.) You will have to click on “Legislative Candidates” and scroll to the end for the 48th District. It’s worth reading these 200 word statements – most of us actually put enough time into them that you can get a good sense of what we do and don’t care about. I’d urge you to read both mine and my opponent’s.
Of course, you might want legislators to have actual opinions on policy issues, and to share them with you. I over-share on my policy blog www.rosshunter.info. Lots of stuff in there about budgets, education policy and funding, mental health care, Medicaid, you name it.
In the past 4 years as the budget chairman in the House I’ve been responsible for negotiating the budget with my Republican counterparts in the Senate. Unlike the “Other Washington” we have been able to come to agreement between the parties and keep the state moving forward. I’m not 100% pleased with all of the compromises, but I am very pleased that we were able to come to agreement, that we have a budget that complies with the strongest balanced-budget law in the nation, and one that received large bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate.
As an unrepentant policy wonk I’d be honored to earn your vote, and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I answer my own mail.
The League of Women Voters did a questionnaire this year that you may be interested in. It addresses a number of topics that are relevant to this election, but I don’t believe they spend enough time on the over-riding issue for 15-17: how do we fund the McCleary decision?
I submitted a response to this questionnaire but my opponent has not yet done so.
Running a campaign requires more than filling these things in – candidates need to send out mailers, pay for signs, etc. Please help by contributing! Click the big red button!
Every year the Municipal League interviews hundreds of candidates for local and state positions. It’s tireless work, but they can mostly tell you when someone isn’t qualified to be on the ballot, or has some weird character flaw (like they hit on one of the interviewers) or some other disqualifying feature. I’m pleased that this year they were unable to discover my disqualifying features and rated me OUTSTANDING, their highest rating.
For the actual ratings, click here. You have to scroll to the end to find mine. Representing the 48th is like having a last name that begins with Z – there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it but you always get sorted to the end.
The Municipal League is using a new service “Candidate Verification” to assess the background of candidates. What you’ll find if you click this link is that the basics of my resume appear correctly if you do a background check. I really did get a degree from Yale, I’ve really worked as a State Representative since 2003, and I have no criminal history.
It’s an interesting service. Any competent opposition research group would find all this stuff, but that sometimes doesn’t happen in cases where there is an incumbent and nobody gives the challenger a chance – nobody funds the opposition research. David Doud, the guy who is running this company is a constituent.
I’m pleased that the Seattle King County Association of Realtors® has granted me an early endorsement for my 2014 campaign. They say that they give early endorsements to incumbents who have “consistently demonstrated exemplary support on REALTOR® legislative issues.” (And of course, only to those who can figure out how to get the little ® next to their name – branding is everything ) Often what’s good for housing values is good for the rest of us. People pay more for houses where there are good schools, where they can get to work conveniently either in their car or on transit, where there are attractive parks, etc.
The Aerospace Machinists Industrial District Lodge 751 also endorsed me this week!
From an entirely different sector of the economy, the Washington Education Association has as well. We’re off to a good start!