State. Sen Liz Lovelett, D-Anacortes, faces Republican challenger Charles Carrell in the 40th Legislative District race.
Lovelett has served as senator since February 2019, and previously served five years on the Anacortes City Council.
Carrell is a Snohomish County Sheriff's Office corrections deputy from Burlington who previously ran for a 40th district House position in 2010.
The 40th Legislative District covers northwestern Skagit County, southwestern Whatcom County and the San Juan Islands.
Lovelett, 40, said the state faces fiscal challenges with its budget and how it will tackle economic recovery.
She said it's important to look at economic recovery with “an equity lens” and avoid budget cuts that harm the most vulnerable citizens, such as working families and seniors.
Lovelett said recovery should include support for small businesses, investing in rural jobs and infrastructure, greater access to higher education, and expanding child care options.
She said the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in areas such as health care and housing, and has created burdens on families.
“Every family has to fend for themselves, whether they're essential workers on the front line or (those who) work from home,” she said.
Like other Democrats, she is in favor of creating a more progressive tax structure and implementing a carbon fee.
“I think if we are able to monetize pollution and use the money to invest in local infrastructure and economic development, that is a win-win," she said.
Lovelett said she has sponsored and passed legislation in the areas of climate change, alternative energy, waste reduction, the maritime sector and state ferries, early learning and youth homelessness, and access to local farmers market produce in nutrition programs.
“I continue to really enjoy digging in on the work I'm doing on behalf of the people in 40th district and the state of Washington,” she said. “We’re going to get a lot done this year to help deal with this crisis.”
Carrell, 53, said the state should allow more businesses to reopen under health and safety guidelines, and that will translate to more tax dollars for the state.
“The more people who are working and making money, that is more revenue to the state budget,” he said.
Carrell said he does not see taxes as an “endless source of revenue" and the state should prioritize on what it spends money.
“I have a philosophy that taxes are money that is taken from the citizens' personal income, and it should only be taken from the citizens for legitimate needs that are a benefit to the state as a whole,” he wrote in a candidate questionnaire response.
Carrell said the state should provide more financial assistance to small businesses that were shut down by government mandate.
He said it's problematic that legislators have not been called back for a special session to deal with the pandemic and economic crisis.
“We basically have governors being dictators for the past six months," he said. "I don’t think that’s any of the intents of (state) constitutions.”
Carrell said he supports the state calling for a constitutional convention to propose constitutional amendments, such as term limits for members of the U.S. Congress.