Guy Palumbo is running for the 1st District Senate seat left vacant after long-time state Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe decided not to run in November’s election.
Palumbo said a new voice in Olympia is needed to end partisan gridlock on several important issues, including transportation improvements and education funding.
“Olympia is broken,” he said. “We need to have a responsible change.”
Palumbo was elected as a Fire Commissioner for Snohomish County Fire District 7 in 2013. He was also appointed to the county planning commission in 2011 and has served as the Chair since 2014 and presided over last year’s county Comprehensive Plan update.
He has also served on the Board of Directors for the local nonprofit “OneBothell” and owns Roscoe’s Ranch, which is a dog boarding business, and has worked for Amazon.
This combination of public and private experience best qualifies him to serve as a state senator, he said.
His first priority would be to find a better way to manage growth in the district, he said, particularly in the North Creek area which has seen rapid expansion recently.
He hopes to find federal and surplus budget money to fund transportation improvement and maintenance programs in the district.
A slew of community groups focused on environmental preservation is also a sign that area governments aren’t doing enough to protect open spaces, he said.
Funding education in line with the McCleary decision is also high on his list of priorities, but he said both sides of the aisle need to be more pragmatic.
“I think both sides are unrealistic,” he said.
He said while many Republicans are busy trying to find a way to overturn the McCleary decision, this won’t happen.
And while many Democrats are trying to pass funding measures which would create an income or capital gains tax, Palumbo said these likely won’t pass a state-wide vote.
“Income tax isn’t going to happen, raising the sales tax disproportionately hurts poor people,” he said.
Instead, he hopes to close tax loopholes for corporations and implement taxes on the sales of stocks and bonds.
But finding middle ground in the Senate is equally important in trying to end the deadlock which has plagued politics recently, he said.
“Olympia is simply not providing the solutions that our small businesses and our families want,” he said.