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Redistricting adds challenges for First District candidates
The changing of district lines adds confusion for voters and gives an element of the unknown to the first election for candidates. Both issues play a big part in the race for Position No. 2 in the First Legislative District.
Incumbent Luis Moscoso, D-Mountlake Terrace, has the challenge of identifying the new voting bloc and persuading voters to give him another term.
“I think the district is a little more balanced now,” said Moscoso, whose district has not been represented by a Republican since the mid-1990s. “I kind of like that myself. Regardless of party affiliation I am elected to serve all the residents.”
For challenger Mark Davies, the change made the road to just getting on the ballot difficult. The new boundaries include the Finn Hill neighborhood of Kirkland, none of Kenmore and all of Bothell.
Davies attempted to get on the ballot like most candidates via petition.
“I spent six weeks getting signatures collected,” said Davies, who turned in 466 signatures. “A number of those who signed the petition lived in the old First District.”
Those signatures were invalid.
Davies needed 421 signatures to get on the ballot. Ultimately, the Election Commission could only validate 420.
Davies decided to go ahead with an undeclared write-in candidacy during the primary.
One issue that he managed to get past was his name being spelled correctly. The Elections Commission will accept votes where the name is close for declared write-in candidates. But for undeclared candidates, the spelling has to be 100-percent accurate. An article in the Everett Herald spelled his last name without an “e.” Despite not being able to declare a party affiliation and having to get the second-most votes in the primary, Davies succeeded in qualifying for the general election.
Davies now has another issue in his race against Moscoso, as his name on the ballot is Mark T. Davies, instead of just Mark Davies, as write-in voters grew accustomed to.
“In this election, more than last time, I have people asking me if I have an opponent,” said Moscoso, who was elected in 2010 by the slimmest margin in the state. “I let them know I have an opponent because I think people should have a choice.”
But he said that he doesn’t approve of Davies minimalist approach to campaigning.
“I wish he was out there saying what he would do,” said Moscoso. “If he wants to make the case, go out and knock on doors and raise some money. He wants to run on the cheap and not put a campaign together.”
Davies ran for the seat six years ago and only received 38 percent of the vote. But with the change in district boundaries, Davies thinks he has a better chance.
“I think the redistricting gives me about 1 to 2 percent more conservative voters,” said Davies. “Two years ago Heidi Munson got 49.5 percent of the vote and lost by a few hundred votes.”
Moscoso was surprised that he was not targeted by the Republican party and their lack of support for Davies.
“You would think they would be lining up against me,” said Moscoso.
Davies said that the main reason he is running is to restore fiscal sanity to Olympia.
“In studying my opponent’s record he has just 19 no votes out of 1,224 cast,” said Davies. “Most were in support of unions where he gets the majority of his financial support. He basically voted for everything and was indiscriminate in the cost of government.”
Davies points out that Olympia is already behind on the new biennial budget.
“Olympia has not been a good steward of state revenues and the taxes that have been collected,” said Davies. “If elected, I intend to use four criteria: Is it a good thing, is it the right thing to do now, is it constitutional and can we pay for it?”
“He is just repeating ideological rhetoric,” said Moscoso. “I wish he was out there campaigning to say what he believes.”
Moscoso said that he always keeps one motivating factor in mind.
“Can I do a better job than those who I used to complain about,” said Moscoso.
Moscoso, who was on the Public Safety Committee, said that his biggest accomplishment was working with the Republican Attorney General and across the aisle to get money for anti-gang programs during a session in which the budget was being slashed.
“It’s about saving kids and shutting down the prison pipeline,” said Moscoso, who wants to expand the programs.
“We want to get corporations more involved and get matching dollars,” said Moscoso, who has also worked with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll on the issue.
Moscoso said that he wants to continue that work in a second term. He also wants to do more work with transportation and lean management projects.
Davies said that he wants to repeal the Growth Management Act and return zoning policy strictly to city governments.
“I am a big proponent of property rights,” said Davies.
The two candidates have only met once, when they did a candidate’s forum at Edmonds Community College.