The Times recommends:
State Senate, 30th Legislative District
Strengths: Commitment to open government and accountable spending, upholding the Public Records Act
Voters in the 30th Legislative District should return Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way, to the state Senate — mainly due to his commitment to government transparency and open records.
Earlier this year, Mark Miloscia was one of only a handful of lawmakers who stood up for citizens’ right to know how state legislators are conducting the public’s business. His longtime commitment to government transparency is the main reason voters in the 30th Legislative District should return him to the state Senate.
A Republican from Federal Way, Miloscia voted against the Legislature’s recent attempt to exempt itself from the state’s Public Records Act. Even before a Thurston County Superior Court Judge ruled in January that state legislators need to follow government transparency laws, Miloscia was working on a bill to clarify lawmakers’ obligation to release some of their internal records.
Miloscia also is a tireless advocate for using accountability metrics to evaluate the success of state programs. That will be particularly important as the Legislature weighs how best to respond to a regional homelessness crisis and the ongoing mental-health crisis.
Miloscia is more conservative than many residents of the rapidly changing 30th District. This editorial board doesn’t agree with his opposition to abortion rights or same-sex marriage, for instance.
But as a longtime Democrat who switched to the Republican Party four years ago, Miloscia has a history of being independent from GOP leaders, including by championing a bill to repeal the death penalty.
One of Miloscia’s Democratic opponents, Claire Wilson, boasts an impressive résumé as president of the Federal Way School Board. Another Democratic candidate in the race, Tirzah Idahosa, is smart and enthusiastic but could use more civic experience at the local level.
Neither offers enough of a reason to unseat Miloscia, who is a proven advocate for open government and the principle that spending state money should produce tangible results.
Voters should re-elect Miloscia to another four-year term.