NAME: Steve Litzow
OFFICE SOUGHT: Senator, 41st District
PARTY AFFILIATION: Republican
TOWN OF RESIDENCE: Mercer Island
CURRENT OCCUPATION: State Senator and partner with EMM Group, a global marketing management company
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: 28 years of business and entrepreneurial experience, including time as a marketing executive with Procter & Gamble.
WHAT IS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE FACING VOTERS IN YOUR DISTRICT?
A tie between the economy and education. It’s a 50/50 split. Those two issues dominate eveything else.
IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS IN OFFICE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?
It will be funding the education, fully funding education, and there is no better jobs program than a world-class education. I sit on the bi-partisan commission on the McCleary decision and we'll deliver our recommendations on how to fund education by the deadline of Dec. 31. That will dominate the discussion. We will have to spend at least $1 billion in the next biennium, so it’s down to how will you spend the money so we can get the outcomes we want.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE REFERENDUM 74: SHOULD GAY MARRIAGE BE LEGAL IN WASHINGTON? BRIEFLY, WHY?
I support R-74. I was the first Republican in the state to endorse it. I am a sponsor of the bill.
I believe that it is a right that is stated in the Declaration of Independence: “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” and I believe that includes the freedom to marry the person you love.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE, INITIATIVE 502 TO MAKE SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIJUANA LEGAL TO PEOPLE 21 AND OLDER? BRIEFLY, WHY?
Right now I oppose the initiative, primarily because I did a lot of work on medical marijuana legislation in the last session and then Governor Gregoire came through and vetoed it, because the federal government has not legalized it.
So, right now I’m opposing (I-502) because (marijuana) is still illegal federally — and the complications between the initiative and federal laws.