Robert Parker Harris has announced his bid for the 45th District Senate races on this November’s ballot.
Harris, an engineer-turned-teacher, is running as an Independent because he believes partisanship and ideology has trumped rational debate.
“It’s leaving a lot of people behind in the middle that aren’t really at one end of the spectrum or the other,” he said.
This has led to seemingly intractable differences between the two parties over a wide range of issues spanning education funding to tax reform.
Harris said his experience both as an engineer and as a teacher would inform him in the Legislature.
The analytical skills he’s gained from his engineer experience and the communication skills from being a teacher are both invaluable to him.
He also hopes to represent in Olympia the dissatisfied moderates in the district.
“I’m one of those that’s really frustrated with it, and there wasn’t a voice out there that I felt like I could really follow,” Harris said.
The key to working through many problems in the state Legislature, and nationally, is better communication between the two political parties, which he feels are being guided by ideologues.
“No one ideology is always right, and so if we take a step back from the ideology and try to examine the problems we have… we can come up with some better and lasting solutions,” he said.
He said his main focuses if elected will be on facilitating conversation and finding fixes for education funding, revamping the tax system, solving transportation issues and working with health care.
Harris lives in Woodinville and teaches math and science at The Attic. Previously, he lived in New York before moving to the area in 2011.