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Gordon set on retaining 41st Senate seat

As the incumbent, state Sen. Randy Gordon is already comfortable in his 41st District seat. The interim position has given him the confidence and determination to fight for November’s election. Yet, like his GOP competitor, Steve Litzow, Gordon still has to put in the campaign hours to retain his seat. So far, he has done an impressive job.

“Just last weekend, I was out for over 13 hours ringing doorbells. I’ve rung 2,400 so far, and I’ve only begun to get going,” Gordon said, adding that he was not allowed to begin campaigning until after the 2010 Legislative Session adjourned in April.

Gordon is a busy man. In addition to his busy schedule in Olympia, the Democrat runs a law firm, Gordon Edmunds Elder PPLC, in Bellevue and teaches night courses at Seattle University’s School of Law. Yet the latter two jobs have not detracted from his responsibilities as senator.

“I’ve represented the people as hard as I can. I was working 16, 17 hours a day in Olympia. My job was all-consuming,” he said, adding that the work has strengthened his ambition for re-election. “Part of that meant meeting and speaking with constituents, and now it’s easier for me to be out among the people.”

So far, the Bellevue resident has raised approximately $40,000 in campaign funds, which he feels is a strong amount given the fact that he got a late start.

“Right now, Steve Litzow and I are just about even — pretty good since I was forbidden from fundraising until after the session,” he said.

Gordon added that an endorsement from Deputy King County Executive Fred Jarrett, who held the Senate seat before Litzow, has helped his campaign.

In addition to focusing on the economy, Gordon believes that the state needs to prioritize education and health care. Since his interim appointment to the 41st District seat in January, Gordon has been actively involved in all three of these issues.

He represents metropolitan and unincorporated areas of King County and the cities of Bellevue, Newcastle, Mercer Island, Renton and Issaquah, the town of Beaux Arts Village, and Bellevue Community College.

A quick look at what Sen. Gordon did during his freshman term is as follows:

• Introduced 2010 Senate Bill 6796 to assess a surcharge on the gross income of a financial institution from automated teller machine access fees or surcharges in excess of $1.50 that are charged to a customer conducting a transaction using an account.

• Introduced 2010 Senate Bill 6764 (regarding tortious conduct by public agencies) sets the level of accrual interest for judgments against public agencies for tortious conduct. Passed.

• Introduced 2010 Senate Bill 6728 (changing classroom training requirements for electrical trainees) changes the required classroom training for electrical trainees from 16 to 48 hours.

• Introduced 2010 Senate Bill 6686 to modify provisions regarding election and appointment of municipal court judges and court commissioners. Passed.

• Introduced 2010 Senate Bill 6694 to allow someone on unemployment to receive a postponement of foreclosure on his or her property for one year following the initial reception of unemployment benefits.

• Introduced 2010 Senate Bill 6593 to transfer the administration of the infant and toddler early intervention program from the department of social and health services to the department of early learning. Passed.

• 2010 Senate Bill 6512 designates school properties and adjacent areas as school safety zones in which certain activities are prohibited, including disorderly conduct, malicious mischief, gang activity, stalking, and threats against school property, students and personnel.

Two amendments were introduced by Sen. Gordon:

• Offered an amendment to 2010 House Bill 2424 regarding a technical correction on viewing child pornography on the Internet as a crime. Passed.

• Offered an amendment to 2010 Senate Bill 6508 to allow parents of adult children to recover under a wrongful death or survival action.

2010 Legislative Session voting records

The arduous 90-day meeting of the state Legislature this year included the introduction of 4,132 bills, 3,278 amendments and the passage of 885 new laws. Working within that process are 49 state senators and 98 representatives. At the end of each session, there is a review of what has been accomplished and what has not. Measuring the number of votes missed by legislators is one way to see what our own individual representatives did for us in Olympia. It appears they were reliable and engaged.

Newly appointed state Sen. Randy Gordon missed just 10 votes, incumbent Rep. Judy Clibborn missed 18 votes, and Rep. Marcie Maxwell missed just six.

The average number of missed votes by state senators (omitting the highest number of missed votes by Sen. Bob McCaslin, of 491) was 20. The average number of votes missed by state representatives (excluding the highest number of missed votes, 163, by Rep. Christopher Hurst of Enumclaw) was just six votes. A total of 30 legislators (from both houses), or 12 percent, did not miss any votes.

There are a variety of reasons why legislators miss votes, according to the Web site WashingtonVotes.org, part of the Washington Policy Center, that tracks legislators’ votes. “Legislators are often meeting with constituents, other lawmakers or dealing with unexpected emergencies.”

Legislators are offered the chance to explain long or multiple absences.

Rep. Maxwell took her responsibility as an elected official very seriously, missing just a tiny fraction of votes while her husband was ill with cancer and ultimately died during the session.

Voting record

For more information, go to www.washingtonvotes.org/MissedVotes.aspx and adjust the date range accordingly.

Click on the representative’s name for detailed information about the votes they missed.

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