Incumbency has become a dirty word in some circles this year. We hope that’s not the case in the 25th Legislative District, whose two sitting House representatives are among the region’s best lawmakers.
In the 25th – the Puyallup area – state Rep. Bruce Dammeier is running for a second term in Position 1. Dammeier, a Puyallup Republican, is one of the South Sound’s strongest new legislators.
A Naval Academy graduate, he been a volunteer leader in many community organizations and institutions, including Good Samaritan Hospital and the Mel Korum YMCA. He served on the Puyallup School Board from 2001 to 2009.
Dammeier is a smart, congenial conservative with a keen interest in public education. He’s precisely the kind of presence this area needs in the House Republican caucus.
His Democratic opponent, John Thompson of Edgewood, has had an exceptional career as a union negotiator, local president and leader of the Pierce County Central Labor Council. Like the incumbent, he’s has an impressive record of community service. We just don’t think there’s a case for replacing Dammeier.
Same goes for Position 2, where Rep. Dawn Morrell, a Puyallup Democrat, faces a challenge from Puyallup Republican Hans Zeiger.
Morrell, a critical care nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital, has established herself as an influential lawmaker since her election eight years ago; as chairwoman of the Democratic caucus, she’s the only Pierce County representative in the leadership of the House.
Morrell has not been afraid to stand up to Democratic interest groups and was snubbed by the Washington State Labor Council when it passed out its endorsements last May. That’s a badge of honor, in our view, considering that she earned it by standing up against the budget demands of the unions that represent state employees.
Zeiger, 25 and working on a graduate degree, doesn’t have enough seasoning or life experience for the Legislature. He also hasn’t put enough years and mileage between him and some wacko Internet commentary he authored all too recently as a college student.
Zeiger’s comments – which included attacks on the Girl Scouts and a suggestion that Baptists worship a dubious deity – should be a cautionary tale for young people accustomed to spouting off on the Web. Diamonds are forever; so are embarrassing rants cached on Google.
All Internet tomfoolery aside, Morrell is by far the stronger choice in this race.
To read earlier endorsement editorials, go to www.thenewstribune.com/endorsements.