Voters in the 18th Legislative District will choose between two strong candidates for Representative 1. The Columbian’s Editorial Board recommends a vote for Republican Stephanie McClintock to represent the district in Olympia.
At the same time, we note that Democrat John Zingale also is an excellent candidate as two political newcomers vie to succeed Brandon Vick, who did not seek reelection.
As always, this is merely a recommendation. The Columbian trusts that voters will study the candidates and the issues before making an informed decision. We also recommend that voters become familiar with a reconfigured 18th District, which is north of the Vancouver city limits and no longer includes areas to the east such as Camas.
McClintock works in public relations for United Grain Corporation and is a former member of the Battle Ground school board. She emphasizes her understanding of issues facing the agriculture industry and credits her work on the school board for providing her with insight into public schools and the issues facing school districts.
“Public education is funded by property owners and we need to see results of those dollars in our students’ knowledge of core subjects and offer robust career and technical education classes,” she writes on her website. During an interview with the editorial board, she stressed that schools should “focus on the basics of reading, writing and math.”
McClintock was chair of the Clark County Republican Party a decade ago, and she says that “2012 was a different Clark County Republican Party.” Unlike many modern Republican standard bearers, she says Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.
When asked about abortion rights, McClintock said she is “pro-life” but “would not block the will of the voters.” Washington voters have repeatedly approved access to abortion.
McClintock focuses on rising crime rates and writes, “Our law enforcement agencies are being handcuffed by legislative overreach in Olympia. Handcuffs belong on criminals, not our law enforcement officers!”
Regarding a budget surplus, she says the state should replenish the “rainy day” fund and she favors reducing the business and occupation tax.
Zingale is a middle school social studies teacher who previously had a career in the retail grocery industry. He has been honored with numerous teaching awards, including Washington State History Teacher of the Year, and says public schools should be better funded throughout the state.
He supports abortion rights and told the editorial board, “If we were to overturn the will of the voters we would be doing our state a disservice.”
Zingale says a state budget surplus should go toward pressing needs in addition to education: Supporting small businesses; bolstering training for police; and adding social workers to act in tandem with officers. “As we have lost money for social services, they have been asked to be counselors,” he said of police.
McClintock and Zingale differ on many issues, but both demonstrate the thoughtfulness and demeanor necessary to be an effective legislator. Voters likely will find that one of the candidates is to their liking, allowing them to cast an affirmative vote rather than simply voting against the other candidate.
That being said, The Columbian’s Editorial Board gives a slight edge to Stephanie McClintock and recommends her in the 18th Legislative District.