Editorial: Riggs, Smith for State Rep

Whenever an exceptionally prepared and enthusiastic political candidate comes along, you shouldn’t let him get away. That’s why we’re endorsing Tom Riggs, a person of action and many interests, for Tenth District Representative, Position 2.

Riggs is a Camano Island Democrat who faces the formidable challenge of unseating Republican Barbara Bailey. For nearly 10 years Bailey has been working in the minority in the Legislature, able to accomplish little and, in fact, desiring to accomplish little. Her message of cutting back on nonessential government services while protecting the needy and projects dear to Oak Harbor is getting old, especially since she’s never been specific on what she wants to cut even in these dire economic times. This is a time for creativity and fresh thinking in government, not tired old campaign themes.

Riggs, 39, is a Park Ranger and family man, very active in his community. His is a true message of change, even though we might not agree with all the changes he proposes. He supports the state income tax initiative, for example. But he also thinks corporate power has to be reined in, both in this state and this country. “We have a system that is not working for working families,” he said. One reason he supports the income tax is that it would reduce the business and occupation tax, long the bane of small businesses in Washington.

He emphasizes investing in healthy citizens, better schools and alternative energy sources, and thinks there should be public works projects to put people back to work.

Riggs provides a bright mind and positive attitude toward the future. He would also give the Tenth District representation in the Democratic Caucus, which pretty much runs things in Olympia. He can get the attention of legislative leaders when it comes to the needs of the district.

Along with Riggs, we recommend Norma Smith, Position 1 incumbent, for State Representative. Likable, hard-working, experienced and knowledgeable, she is a Republican who can work with Democrats on solving the state’s many problems. It’s going to take future-thinking and cooperation, and together Riggs and Smith would give us a formidable duo in Olympia.

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