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This special election will determine control of the Washington State Senate, which Republicans currently control by one vote. It will directly impact decision-making on the many critical issues facing the state, such as taxes, K-12 and higher education funding, transportation, the environment, business regulations, and issues around health care and immigration.

Abortion and Contraception: Should abortion be highly restricted? Support public funding for Planned Parenthood?

Dhingra: Pro-choice, supports Planned Parenthood funding and required coverage of contraception by employers. Endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and Planned Parenthood Votes NW.

Lee Englund: Contested. Currently says pro-choice. In 2015 tweeted about Obama's lack of respect for the unborn, and retweeted oped entitled "Crush Planned Parenthood."

Climate Change: Believe that human activity is the major factor driving climate change and that government should limit the levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere?

Dhingra: Yes. Supports a carbon tax and argued to “pass greater environmental protections.”

Lee Englund: Believes in manmade climate change but criticized Obama for making it a top priority, saying Isis, terrorism, and the deficit were more important challenges, among others. Opposes carbon tax, but unclear on other approaches to limit greenhouse gasses

Education: Increase funding for K-12 education? Amend State Constitution so local school bonds can require simple majority instead of current 60% to pass?

Dhingra: Fully funding education is “number one priority.” Opposes property tax increase for school funds, favors capital gains tax and closing tax loopholes for school funds. Change school bond requirement to simple majority. Endorsed by Washington Education Association (teachers’ union.)

Lee Englund: Has praised the district's schools and says they must be fully funded to maintain their quality. Opposes both property tax hike and capital gains tax for school funds. Believes current school bond threshold encourages greater due diligence. Endorsed by Stand for Children, which tends to oppose teachers’ unions.

Gun Control: Enact more restrictive gun control legislation?

Dhingra: Yes. Supports “common sense gun legislation” like tightening background check loopholes.

Lee Englund: Unknown.

Healthcare: Repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare? Should insurance plans be required to cover birth control?

Dhingra: No. Supports full implementation of ACA and Medicaid expansion. Supports requiring insurance plans to cover birth control.

Lee Englund: Probable opposition to ACA. Has said Obama and his party passed ACA without first letting anyone read it. Opposes birth control mandate for insurance plans.

Healthcare: Statewide ban on safe injection sites for drug users?

Lee Englund: Yes, ban statewide.

Immigration: Support Attorney General Ferguson's lawsuit against Trump administration immigrant travel ban and ending of protected DACA status to undocumented young people who grew up in US?

Dhingra: “I absolutely support our attorney general.”

Lee Englund: “I think the attorney general is stepping outside of his bounds”

Minimum Wage: Raise the minimum wage?

Dhingra: Unknown, but endorsed by Washington State Labor Council/AFL-CIO and SEIU 775, who are involved in the Fight for $15 movement.

Lee Englund: Unknown.

Renewable Energy: Support government mandates and/or subsidies for renewable energy?

Dhingra: Says we should “support clean energy technologies.” Endorsed by Sierra Club and Washington Conservation Voters, and climate change mega donors Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg.

Lee Englund: No direct statement. Supported by Chevron and Phillips 66, although supports electric car infrastructure. Endorsed by Associated General Contractors of Washington in part because of opposition to what they consider “excessive business regulations,” including environmental regulations.

Taxes: Increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?

Dhingra: Yes. Supports carbon tax, capital gains tax on income over $250,000, rolling back corporate exemptions, and recent property tax increases. Considers Opposes state income tax. Considers WA tax code most regressive in nation so in need of change.

Lee Englund: No. Opposes carbon tax, capital gains tax, inheritance taxes, recent property tax increase, and the creation of a state income tax. Believes can close tax loopholes and better prioritize current revenue, and that lack of income tax makes Washington attractive to business.

Transportation: Support existing expanded car tab fees to fund Sound Transit 3's expansion of light rail, bus rapid transit, and projects like Park and Ride lots?

Dhingra: Supports Sound Transit 3, “Should have had light rail 10 years ago.” But believes car tab fee formula needs to be adjusted more fairly.

Lee Englund: Repeal expanded car tab fees and convert one of I-405 HOV lanes to regular lane. Supports expanding buses to reduce congestion.

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a non-partisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included,, and public candidate statements, including coverage of their public debate in the Seattle Times and Redmond Reporter. For voting information, see, from the League of Women Voters.

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