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Marcie Maxwell taking on Tim Eaves for 41st seat | Election 2012
State Rep. Marcie Maxwell in her third race for the state House of Representatives is facing a Republican opponent new to the 41st District.
Tim Eaves of Issaquah was redistricted out of the 48th District in northeast King County, where he was active in Republican politics, following the 2010 Census.
He chose to run in the 41st District just before filing ended because no Republicans had stepped up to run against Maxwell for House Position 1 or the other House Democrat, Judy Clibborn. Clibborn is running unopposed for House Position 2.
Eaves said in an interview with the Renton Reporter editorial board that it’s good to give voters a choice.
In their matchup in the August primary election, Maxwell received 58 percent of the vote to Eaves’ 42 percent.
Maxwell and Eaves differ on their connections to Renton and their politics.
Maxwell has sold real estate in Renton and the broader area for 23 years and has held numerous leadership positions in local organizations, including the Renton Chamber of Commerce, the Renton Rotary Club, the PTA and the Renton Community Foundation. She served eight years on the Renton School Board.
Eaves has co-owned a metal-fabrication company in Lynnwood for 18 years. He’s a mechanical engineer. He has not held public office. He was involved in his children’s activities when they were young.
Eaves’ connections to Renton are mainly those he’s made through local customers of his company, he says. His focus has been north of Interstate 90, he says.
In the interview Maxwell and Eaves were asked questions about education, small businesses and economic development and the aerospace industry.
In her first two House terms, Maxwell said she’s focused mainly on education, economic development and quality-of-life issues. She worked with the regional leaders on the successful effort to ensure the Boeing 737 production plant remained in Renton.
“That was a major priority, not just for Renton but for the region and the future of jobs here,” she said.
She has helped lead the legislative effort to ensure that basic education is fully funded in the state, including the requirement for early childhood education and kindergarten. She has supported efforts to improve science and math education starting in elementary school and running through college.
Help for small businesses
Eaves expresses concern about the burdens imposed by state government on small businesses.
“As a small business we are constantly living under the shadow of state regulations,” he said, and new ones “keep coming out all the time.”
He calls small businesses an uncompensated “agent of the state” because they must act as a tax collector for retail sales taxes.
Now, small businesses levy sales tax based on where their products are delivered, not where they originate, a burden he calls “ridiculous.”
Maxwell interjected that those sales taxes are important to such residential communities as Newscastle in the 41st District that rely on the sales tax to help fund tight city budgets.
Eaves acknowledged that cities like Newcastle and Sammamish don’t have a strong retail base. He understands that Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna, whom he supports, is looking at a way for the state to handle those tax collections. He says he would “applaud that.”
What Maxwell hears most from businesses large and small is a trained workforce.
Putting people to work and having a qualified workforce “means they need a good solid education” in kindergarten through 12th grade, she said.
The aerospace industry
Maxwell said the aerospace industry in the state, including Boeing and aerospace suppliers, in the next five to eight years will see about half of its workforce retire.
Those replacement workers will need the proper training and education at the high school and college levels, she said. For example, Washington State University has an engineering program in Everett.
“We absolutely need to grow engineers and that talent,” she said.
That education is often referred to as STEM or science, technology, engineering and math.
Maxwell said that pressure has been exerted on the University of Washington to understand the need for aerospace engineers, but also for computer-science engineers and other high-needs positions.
Eaves agrees the state needs to home-grow its workforce, especially in kindergarten through 12th grades. There are some college degrees in this state that work better than others, he said. He would like to see more emphasis on STEM at the UW.
Eaves recognizes that educating children is the state’s paramount duty. He points to the state’s budget constraints over the past few bienniums, when at the same time there is talk about new education programs.
“The early learning is one that I find a little bit problematic,” he said, and one that he would hesitate focusing all of the state’s attention.
The state’s budget needs to balance, he said, and if it doesn’t, it’s because the state isn’t taking in enough revenue or it’s spending too much.
“I am from the spending-too-much camp,” he said. He said first the state needs to understand what it’s getting for its education dollars before it spends more on education.
Maxwell points out that one of the priorities the state faces is funding full-day kindergartens. And, the state is under a mandate to spend more money for education, she said.