Two first-time legislative candidates are competing for the open House seat being vacated by Dahlquist.
Republican candidate Drew Stokesbary is a lawyer from Auburn who works as a policy aide for King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer.
Stokesbary takes a moderate stance on many issues related to taxation. He wants to see a large part of projected increases in sales tax revenues — three-fourths of them — go toward education funding next year, echoing Republican sentiments that education should be funded before other parts of the state budget.
Stokesbary said while he thinks the state needs to look at cutting spending before raising revenue, he is willing to look at ending some tax exemptions to help raise money for education. He said he considers eliminating tax breaks to be different from imposing a blanket tax increase.
Stokesbary also thinks a portion of sales tax revenues from recreational marijuana should be used to help fund education.
On transportation, both candidates are focused on completing state Route 167 from Puyallup to the Port of Tacoma, but they have different ideas about what would needed to be included a tax package to fund that project and others.
Stokesbary said the Legislature would have to change how it handles sales tax on transportation projects for him to support raising the state’s gasoline tax to pay for road projects. Right now, sales tax charged on transportation projects goes into the state’s general fund budget; Stokesbary would like to see that money stay in the transportation budget, he said.
“What we do now is arguably unconstitutional, because it takes money that is supposed to be dedicated towards transportation and diverts it into the general fund through a back door,” Stokesbary said.
Stokesbary also wants to loosen prevailing wage rules for smaller transportation projects that cost less than $250 million, something Sando said he wouldn’t support.
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