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The Nov. 5th ballot: 45th Legislative District, Position 2

45th Legislative District Democrat Dave Asher is challenging Republican incumbent Bill Backlund for the Position 2 seat.

Bill Backlund

Bill Backlund Age: 55.
Party: Republican.
Occupation: Orthopedic surgeon.
Family: Wife, Pat, for 32 years; two children; five grandchildren.

   Bill Backlund, appointed to the Legislature in 1994, is seeking his second elected term, focusing on, among other issues, reducing government waste through performance audits, improving K-12 education, anticrime legislation, "especially violent juveniles," transportation, and welfare reform.
   "I hope to work on reducing government waste through performance audits which will help us control the size and function of state government," Backlund said. "It should also allow us to continue reducing taxes, especially the B&O tax and property taxes."
   As a state Representative, Backlund has served on the Transportation, Trade and Economic Development, Joint Administrative Rules Review, and Rules committees, as Health Care Committee vice-chair, and as House Republican Caucus vice-chair.
   Backlund says more local control, parental involvement, increased teacher control of the classroom, and a return to an emphasis on the basics will improve public schools.
   "I will also work towards a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and gangs in schools," he said, adding that the current juvenile laws need to be repealed and replaced with tougher laws. "We need to provide some type of punishment after the first offense for other crimes. Parents need to be required to be involved in their child's court case, also."
   Backlund is the founder and past president of Redmond Against Pornography, has worked with the Redmond and Kirkland Chambers of Commerce, was a delegate to the King County and state Republican conventions and a precinct committeeman from 1984 to 1996, and was a delegate to this year's national convention.
   Backlund has lived in Redmond for 26 years and has been an orthopedic surgeon there for 20 years.

Dave Asher

Dave Asher Party: Democrat.
Occupation: UW budget analyst.
Family: Wife, Hae-Sun.

   Dave Asher, responsible for tuition and revenue programs and legislation, has written and introduced to the state Legislature four bills on behalf of the University of Washington, two of which have been written into law.
   "What I hear from the mainstream voters of this district are concerns about the education of their children in both K-12 and higher education," said Asher. "I share those concerns and think we can meet parents' expectations. We must carry through with the education reform that started in 1993. The students will be required to demonstrate that they can apply the knowledge they have learned, not merely fill in multiple-guess exams."
   He supports an integrated state transportation plan that meets local requirements and priorities, as Seattle went from 7th to 6th in most congested metropolitan area in the country. "We need to have flexibility to use the gas tax for all forms of 'transportation,' not just highways," he said.
   Asher serves on the City of Kirkland Transportation Task Force, and was appointed by King County Council Chair Jane Hague to the Metro North Kirkland Sounding Board, locally tailoring the Metro six-year plan.
   He is vice-president of the North Rose Hill Neighborhood Association and chair of the traffic committee, recently securing $360,000 from Kirkland and $200,000 from Redmond for safer walkways along 132nd Avenue, a project originally written off as too expensive at $6 million. He founded the Kirkland Forum, an issues-oriented discussion group.
   He has a masters in logistics management from the Florida Institute of Technology and a bachelors in business administration with honors from the University of Tennessee.
   Asher retired a Lt. Colonel in 1992 after 21 years in the Army.