Robinson faces Anderson in state House race
EVERETT — Last December, June Robinson, of Everett, was unanimously appointed as a state representative for the 38th Legislative District. She got the position after it was vacated by then-state Rep. John McCoy, who moved up to state senator.
Now just one session later, Robinson, a Democrat who has been a program manager for King County Public Health since 2012, will have to be elected to keep her position representing Everett, Tulalip and a section of Marysville.
She’s drawn Republican Jesse Anderson, an Everett attorney, as her challenger.
Both candidates see being a state representative as an opportunity to serve the community, but each has their own take on what that means.
Anderson has been dissatisfied with state legislature for some time, and this is the first time he’s tried to hold office.
“I volunteer and coach for North Everett Little League,” Anderson said. “We have a sign on the fence that says, ‘Before you complain, have you volunteered yet?’ Instead of complaining about it, I decided to get involved.”
This year was the first time Robinson held office after three tries to get onto the Everett City Council.
“I’ve had a long career in health and human services, so I want to in some ways continue that work supporting our families in our district, neighborhoods and communities by providing people with services that they need,” Robinson said.
Both candidates support funding for public education, but with different emphases.
In the one legislative session that she worked, Robinson worked on bills supporting public education. One of her bills assists the Everett School District with providing help to at-risk kids in Everett.
Anderson says he is dissatisfied with how public education is funded and the state’s implementation of Common Core standards.
“These materials with Common Core goals are not local, they’re produced by larger, more removed sources,” he said.He would rather see materials produced locally.
Other than education, the two candidates have different concerns at the forefront of their campaigns.
“I’m always looking out for working families in our district, especially families and kids,” Robinson said. “I am always thinking about how my work can make their lives better.”
A former head of Snohomish County’s affordable housing group, she also wants protections for low-income renters.
Anderson is concerned with the lack of consistency between medical and recreational marijuana laws.
“I want there to be a more consistent policy, there’s a lot of disparity between them right now,” he said. “I feel like I’m qualified because I can understand how the process works, how laws can be interpreted how they need to be written.”
He would also focus on creating more transparency in transportation funding, especially regarding U.S. 2 and gas taxes.
“I don’t think they’re being open with budgeting and how money is being spent,” he said. “I’d like to see some transparency and better management with the transportation department.”
Although Anderson identifies with the Republican Party, he describes himself as fiscally conservative and socially moderate.
“I keep my finger on the pulse of the community,” he said. “That’s important to me.”
Since joining the state House, Robinson has served on the Capital Budget; Community Development Housing and Tribal Affairs; and Government Operations and Elections committees.
Before working as a program manager for King County Public Health, she was the executive director of the Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County. She has also served as a member of the Everett Salary Commission and the Human Needs Committee in Everett.
Her emphasis is on removing barriers that keep people from accessing services that they need to get where they want to go in life.
Anderson has volunteered for local organizations, such as Little League and his church, but has not in government.
He emphasizes that serving in the community is important to him and that less taxes and regulations could help create jobs.
As of last week, Anderson is yet to file his campaign finance information with the state.
Robinson, meanwhile, has more than $23,000 in campaign funds as of last week.