Bothell residents Stanford, Colver run to represent the 1st district

Washington’s 1st Legislative District covers Bothell and Kirkland.

Incumbent state Rep. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell) is running against Josh Colver, a Republican from Bothell, to continue representing the 1st Legislative District in position 1. The 1st district covers parts of King and Snohomish counties, including Bothell, Mountlake Terrace and Kirkland.

1. Please provide a brief biography.

Derek Stanford: Derek Stanford has served as State Representative for the 1st District since 2011. He serves on the House Appropriations Committee, the House Business and Financial Services Committee, the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and the House Rules Committee. He chairs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee and the Washington State Caseload Forecast Council. In his private sector career, he has managed analytics research projects and worked in fraud detection. His education includes a bachelor of science in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College, a master of science in mathematics from Claremont Graduate University, and a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Washington. Derek lives in Bothell with his wife and children.

2. Do you believe that taxes are calculated fairly to fund education in our state? If not, what would you change?

Stanford: The tax system in our state is not fair — it is the most regressive in the country. For all local and state taxes combined, rates paid by the most wealthy families are only a fraction of what the rest of us pay. That’s not fair, and it is not sustainable. Fixing this fundamental problem with our revenue structure would give us both reliable funding for our schools into the future and tax relief for the middle class and working families.

3. Home prices and property taxes have been on the rise. How would you promote housing diversity and affordability?

Stanford: This is a complex issue that requires work on many facets at once. One key is investing in transportation infrastructure so that people can live in more affordable areas without spending a lifetime stuck in traffic; we need multiple options, including bus, rail, road and expanded park-and-rides. Another is allowing higher housing density close to areas with high job density; this could boost housing supply while reducing the length of commuting trips. We need to investigate other potential price drivers as well, such as out-of-state investors driving up prices and competition from short-term rentals, and then develop policy solutions and legislation to address these.

4. Mass shootings, suicides and school security are big concerns in our communities. When it comes to guns, how do you balance safety with constitutional rights?

Stanford: We know that guns in the wrong hands are the source of tremendous tragedy, and there are common-sense steps we can take to prevent many gun violence incidents each year without interfering with the rights of responsible gun owners. This is not just about mass shootings — it is also about addressing preventable accidents and suicides. Giving children unsupervised access to loaded weapons is a recipe for tragedy, so responsible gun owners store firearms safely. For those who don’t, we need a safe storage law to encourage people to act safely and hold them accountable if their irresponsible actions lead to injury or death. We also need to treat people in crisis seriously; for example, gun purchases should be restricted for people who are involuntarily committed for mental health treatment.

After multiple attempts, the Reporter was unable to reach the other candidate in the race, Josh Colver.