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Rep. Roger Goodman seeks fourth term in 45th Legislative District
When state Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, announced that he would be running for Congress in the 1st District, his intentions were to go to Washington D.C. and help change the culture.
“It was a great opportunity since I live in the district,” said Goodman, who is seeking a fourth term in the 45th District. “All my family and supporters told me to go for it. But there was a reason I hesitated for a month.”
Goodman’s original apprehensions won out in the end as he dropped his bid after nearly a year of campaigning and fund raising.
“You spend 95 percent of your time raising money and 5 percent on issues,” said Goodman of running for national office. “I still do believe I would make a difference.”
But the amount of money needed to run for Congress also helped Goodman to make up his mind. He said that he was at a fund raiser just off the grounds of the state capital and missed a legislative vote.
“That was the moment when I felt my obligation to the legislature,” said Goodman.
When former Microsoft executive Suzan DelBene entered the race, Goodman said he knew it would be an uphill battle.
“It is tough to be competitive when there is a multimillionaire in the race,” said Goodman, who is running against Kirkland resident and Democrat Jacob Bond, and Republican Joel Hussey, of Redmond.
The biggest reason Goodman decided to run again for the 45th District is that he feels like Olympia is getting things done.
“It is despairing what is happening at the federal level,” said Goodman. “People can’t even look each other in the eye.”
And while his opponents say that Olympia is broken, Goodman points to the tough budget negotiations of the past few years.
“We got it done without major cuts to education or many of the safety nets that are in place,” said Goodman. “I think we have done a great job.”
Goodman said that his own record is one of accomplishment. During his six years in office, Goodman has introduced or had a part in submitting 123 bills, with 68 enacted. That is the highest rate of any legislator in the state. Of those bills, 44 had his name on it.
Goodman takes issue with Hussey’s criticism that more business people need to run for office and that the state needs to be run like a business.
“What we need is experienced legislators who are sensitive to the business community’s needs,” said Goodman. “I think in the last six years I have demonstrated that I listen and respond.”
Goodman is just one of nine in the state legislature who have a law degree.
He is outspoken about the decriminalization of marijuana. He has put that knowledge to use in Olympia, helping to reform domestic violence, DUI and wage garnishment laws. He put forth four new DUI laws, three of which were signed into law.
“We have made tremendous progress with expanding the use of ignition interlock systems,” said Goodman. “Because of our legislation, there have been 20 percent less deaths in DUI accidents.”
Goodman said the laws give those convicted of DUIs the ability to drive without being able to drive drunk, or more commonly, drive illegally with a suspended license. Goodman helped to get DUI vehicular homicide laws changed after Kirkland resident Steve Lacey was killed last summer by a drunk driver on Northeast 85th.
“That could have been me. I take that route all the time,” said Goodman, who wants to meet Steve’s widow Nabila Lacey someday. “Steve’s friends and family came to me for help.”
The only DUI law that did not pass was to impose child support from convicted DUI homicides for victims.
Domestic violence has been tougher for the legislature to act upon.
“You can’t reach in and stop it, you can only respond,” said Goodman.
The help has come with education and more dedicated police department domestic violence units.
If given a fourth term, Goodman hopes to shift his focus.
“There will be a lot of turnover and I will rise in leadership,” said Goodman, who wants to chair the Community and Economic Development Committee. “I want to focus on business development. I want to meet more with chambers of commerce and businesses. What is legislating about other than supporting the communities and businesses?”
He also foresees having to deal with more global crises: “We are going to have to adapt to food crises and continue to expand clean energy.”
But one of the most important things for Goodman is education. With a young child in preschool he has immersed himself in the topic and is trying to make changes. He helped get a law passed that would make preschool an entitlement. The law will take effect in 2018, but it has to be funded. He cites studies that show kids who go through preschool have more productive lives than those who do not.
“I want every kid to have the same chance as my kid,” said Goodman.
For more information, visit rogergoodman.org/