Editor's note: Patch has submitted candidate questionnaires to all candidates in the 45th and 48th legislative districts, as well as those in the 1st Congressional District, and will post the responses verbatim as we receive them.
NAME: Ross Hunter
OFFICE SOUGHT: State Representative 48th District, Position 1
PARTY AFFILIATION: Democrat
TOWN OF RESIDENCE: Medina
CURRENT OCCUPATION: State legislator
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: Former Microsoft general manager
WHAT IS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE FACING VOTERS IN YOUR DISTRICT?
The Legislature must respond to the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision on school funding with a budget that devotes substantially more money to K-12 education, at the same time at least maintaining a strong higher education system, functioning courts, prisons, healthcare for low-income seniors, and other crucial services. Of course, we also must do everything we can to create jobs in our economy and continue the work on 520 so it’s completed on time and on budget.
IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS IN OFFICE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?
As budget chairman in the House of Representatives I’ve proposed critically praised proposals that have become central to the governor’s race and will continue to push education funding as our most critical investment. Building a stronger education system is critical to any rational economic and job strategy and I am fully committed. In their endorsement the Seattle Times says “Hunter’s work trying to ensure that businesses could create jobs is why he is one of only four House Democrats endorsed by the Association of Washington Business.”
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE REFERENDUM 74: SHOULD GAY MARRIAGE BE LEGAL IN WASHINGTON? BRIEFLY, WHY?
I was a co-sponsor of the bill in the legislature. I believe all people should have equal treatment under the law.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE, INITIATIVE 502 TO MAKE SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIJUANA LEGAL TO PEOPLE 21 AND OLDER? BRIEFLY, WHY?
I will most likely vote to support this law, though I do not believe it will have significant effect. The federal government still classifies Marijuana as an illegal drug and is likely to prosecute people who set up as dealers of the product for recreational use. The state cannot change this regardless of what legislation we pass.