Skip to main content

Originally published Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 3:03 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments
  • Print

Editorial: Re-elect Steve Hobbs as senator in 44th District

In a polarized statehouse, “raging moderate” Steve Hobbs occupies that lonely spot in the middle, and reflects the best traditions of the Legislature.

Seattle Times Editorial

Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
As usual the Seattle Times is on the WRONG side in every political endorsement for Snohomish County. Hobbs doesn't have... MORE
What Snohomish County and Washington State does not need is another Republican financial crook to steal our money, then... MORE


During eight years in the state Senate, Lake Stevens Democrat Steve Hobbs has demonstrated a deep streak of independence, and a willingness to work with members of the opposing party. But standing in the middle can be lonely sometimes — especially during election season.

As Hobbs seeks a third term, 44th Legislative District voters should recognize the key role he has played in the Legislature these last few years. A leader among Democratic centrists, Hobbs earns the Times’ recommendation for the thoughtful problem-solving he has brought to the Senate. If only the statehouse had more like him.

The 44th District in suburban and rural Snohomish County is a “swing district” that might favor either party. Hobbs’ approach might be right for middle-of-the-road voters, but it rankles the labor and progressive groups that support Democratic campaigns. They spent big in an effort to unseat Hobbs in the 2010 primary, as he was challenged from right and left. How the interest groups will play this year is unclear as Hobbs faces a challenge from former Snohomish County Republican Chairman Jim Kellett. Hobbs eked out only a narrow lead in the primary.

In office, the senator has been effective. He and fellow members of the “Roadkill Caucus,” all moderate Democrats, insisted on financial reforms and blocked major tax increases in the middle of a recession. They forced Democratic leaders to negotiate with Republicans, forging a more balanced result than either party could have accomplished on its own.

Hobbs’ vote this year against a bill linking teacher evaluations to student test scores was a disappointment. But that is outweighed by other important work he has done — like negotiating unemployment insurance and workers compensation reform measures, and in trying to broker a deal this year on a stalled transportation package.

In this era of polarized politics, Hobbs demonstrates there is room for a self-described “raging moderate,” in a way that reflects the finest traditions of the Legislature.

Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Sharon Pian Chan, Jonathan Martin, Erik Smith, Thanh Tan, Robert J. Vickers, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).

Want unlimited access to Subscribe now!

The Seattle Times photographs

Seattle space needle and mountains

Purchase The Seattle Times images

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►