Mindie Wirth is running as a Republican for the 1st Legislative Senate seat in this November’s election.
Wirth said her major platform for the election will be fully funding basic education without strapping taxpayers with a heavy tax burden, an issue which she said impacts the local economy.
“I found out that Washington State is the number two importer of talent, and so I’m going, where are our kids going when they graduate? Or are they graduating at all,” she said.
Identifying ways to improve graduation rates and job opportunities are also important to Wirth, she said.
Area transportation issues are her second largest platform. As a Microsoft analyst, Wirth said she will bring a critical eye to transportation proposals, like Sound Transit 3.
“I want to understand how that’s actually helping people up here,” she said.
Wirth thinks installing light rail around Lake Washington makes an assumption that traffic will be predictable in the future and that rail may be obsolete by the time it is finished.
However, she said spending on projects like park-and-ride and increasing bus rapid transit systems could be effective solutions and less costly than rail.
“I think we need accountability in our government agencies,” she said.
Despite the fact that district voters have sent Democrat Rosemary McAuliffe to Olympia for nearly a quarter decade, Wirth said McAuliffe stepping down presents an opening for a Republican candidate in what she describes as a purple district.
Wirth said her experience analyzing projects in the private sector will cross over well to government service.
She graduated from the University of Washington Bothell with a degree in business and marketing, before working for a startup and later Washington Mutual and now Microsoft.
Wirth grew up in Bothell and said she’s seen the area change as the Seattle tech boom spread to the suburbs and surrounding cities, attracting new workers from across the country and beyond.
She has served on the Canyon Creek Parent-Teacher Association, as well as the Northshore School District Parent-Teacher-Student Association where she was the first vice president and now co-president.
“We really focus on giving parents the tools they need to understand what it takes to get to whatever goal they have for their child,” Wirth said.
This experience has given her an understanding of how Olympia works, she said.
As for her chances of getting elected, Wirth said as she has been door-belling she has found many people who said they have historically voted Democratic but not feel they’re not being listened to.
So this election, not being a career politician may pay off for, she said.
“People are so positive in their response,” she said. “I think people are open to considering a different candidate.”