5th Legislative District: Ramos, Moninski talk business and economy

The candidates squared off at an Issaquah Chamber of Commerce forum.

Stock photo

Stock photo

Candidates for the 5th Legislative District fielded questions on the economy, the pandemic and businesses on Sept. 14.

The forum was hosted by the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, and featured incumbent Bill Ramos (D) and challenger Ken Moninski (R), who are vying for the district’s 1st seat.

Ramos won his seat in 2018, after being swept in on a blue wave in the district long represented by Republicans in the state House. Moninski is hoping to swing the seat back.

“I think we’re in danger of slipping to such an overwhelming Democrat majority in Olympia that a lot of voices are going to be drowned out,” Moninski said.

Ramos touted his experience in the Legislature, as well as on the Issaquah City Council as proof of his qualifications. Moninski pointed to his business experience, running two aviation industry businesses.

The pair were asked what their top priorities would be if elected. Moninski said he would focus on the budget deficit facing the state from the coronavirus pandemic. He said cutbacks would likely be needed, citing potential reductions in state employees or cuts to higher education.

“That’s probably going to be job number one,” Moninski said. “And in concert with that, figuring out how we promote policies to get the economy back going.”

Other policies included business and operations tax breaks for businesses, or sales tax holidays.

Ramos said he would be focused on keeping people healthy during the pandemic, which he said is necessary to address the economic impacts. He pointed to Legislative action last spring that provided $225 million to coronavirus relief for Washington state businesses, though he said the pandemic has grown larger than they anticipated.

Addressing climate change will also be a key part of his policies.

“We have an environmental crisis we have to work on as well,” Ramos said.

Both candidates agreed that small businesses need more support through the pandemic.

Moninski also said he supports finding ways to get students back in school, in-person.

In the Aug. 4 primary, Ramos won 59 percent of the voter, with Moninski coming in second at nearly 35 percent. It puts Ramos well ahead to win the November general.

Also hurting Moninski is a lack of donors. According to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, Moninski has only raised some $6,330, compared to Ramos, whose campaign has netted more than $128,000.

And despite early optimism that Republican donors and the party would rally behind their only candidate in the race, there’s been no major donations to Moninski’s campaign.

The apparent retreat from the district makes it increasingly likely that voters in the district will again send Democrats to fill its one Senate and two House seats in Olympia.

In the Senate race, incumbent Mark Mullett is waging an intraparty campaign against fellow Democrat Ingrid Anderson. Gov. Jay Inslee endorsed Anderson, a progressive challenger to Mullett, who describes himself as a moderate.

And Lisa Callan is running essentially unopposed for her 2nd House seat in the district.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Alvin Sweet is a resident of Martin Court in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Martin Court is a former motel which was transformed into a supportive housing complex two decades ago. New funding from King County’s Health through Housing ordinance could expand this type of program across the county.
King County wants to buy motels for emergency, affordable housing

The concept has proven results in addressing homelessness.

Courtesy photo
State demanded more drop boxes, and now it must pay for them

A King County judge says a law requiring more ballot boxes was an illegal unfunded mandate.

The 5th Legislative District includes Snoqualmie, North Bend, Issaquah, Renton and Maple Valley. Courtesy image
5th District candidates talk policing, the economy and mental health

The SnoValley Chamber of Commerce held a candidates forum on Oct. 22.

King County 2020 unemployment numbers. Source: Washington State Employment Security Department
Boeing, coronavirus likely to impact King County economy

Unemployment remained high in September.

power grid electricity power lines blackouts PG&E (Shutterstock)
State extends moratorium on some electric, gas shutoffs

Investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in WA can’t disconnect customers through April.

Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee (left) and Republican challenger Loren Culp during Wednesday's debate. (TVW) 20201007
Inslee, Culp joust on COVID, climate, crime in feisty debate

In their only televised match-up, the two gubernatorial candidates differed on pretty much everything.

Gov. Jay Inslee during his Oct. 6 news conference. (Screenshot)
Gov. Inslee loosens rules for bars, libraries and movie theaters

New rules come as coronavirus cases are on the rise statewide.

Jay Inslee (left) and Loren Culp
Inslee, Culp will meet in only televised debate Wednesday

The two candidates will answer questions for an hour but they will not be on stage together.

Cecil Lacy Jr. (Family photo)
Court: New trial in case of man who told police ‘Can’t breathe’

Cecil Lacy Jr. of Tulalip died in 2015 while in police custody.

A Sept. 10 satellite image shows smoke from U.S. wildfires blanketing the majority of the West Coast. (European Space Agency)
University of Washington professors talk climate change, U.S.-China relations

Downside for climate policy supporters is it can risk alienating moderate or right-leaning voters.

Issaquah City Hall.
Mayor presents the 2021 City of Issaquah budget

The city will face financial challenges ahead with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sightseers at a Snoqualmie Falls viewpoint adjacent to the Salish Lodge & Spa on Feb. 19, 2020. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
25 COVID cases linked to Salish Lodge

Public Health is urging anyone who visited the lodge to monitor for symptoms or get tested.