The race for the 10th Legislative District Senate seat between Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, and Angie Homola, D-Oak Harbor, has received a lot of attention, and for good reason.
The outcome could determine which party controls the Senate in coming years as lawmakers continue to grapple with funding education, mental health care and other priorities, all with limited dollars.
While Homola is undeniably smart and tireless, Bailey has worked hard and accomplished much in her first term as senator, which came after 10 years in the House. She deserves another term.
Bailey said her proudest accomplishment was sponsoring a historic and bipartisan bill that reduced college tuitions at state and community institutions. Hopefully, she can continue finding ways to make college more affordable.
In addition, Bailey has sponsored other important bills, including the Dream Act, which allowed undocumented immigrants to apply for state grants for college and pay in-state tuition, providing they are moving toward citizenship.
She understands the importance of ferries to her district. She recently lobbied Washington Ferries to have the newest boat on the same run.
Bailey also wrote to state leaders in support of grant funding for a sewage treatment system in Freeland.
Homola was an Island County commissioner and, before that, a county employee in the planning department. She has a background in architecture and a passion for the environment.
Homola does her homework and can rattle off facts and figures about a wide range of topics. She is critical of Bailey for taking money from pharmaceutical companies and other big-money organizations. She wants to get corporate influence out government, help the most vulnerable and protect the environment, which are lofty goals.
Bailey, however, has proven that she’s willing and capable of reaching across the aisle and getting things accomplished. Which counts for a lot, nowadays.