Rep. Tarra Simmons is running for re-election to the 23rd Legislative District. Simmons is the founding director of Civil Survival, a nonprofit organization that helps formerly incarcerated people reintegrate and become advocates for their community. She also made history when she became the first formerly incarcerated person to graduate law school and be admitted to the Washington State Bar Association.
Simmons' previous campaign in 2020 focused on criminal justice and legal reform, as well as fighting for more robust support for working people. In just her first two years in office, she has delivered in a big way. Her first piece of legislation in 2021 was automatic voter registration for formerly incarcerated people. In the 2022 session, Simmons sponsored legislation limiting ghost guns, voted to make the wealthy pay their share into our communities, and supported increasing housing options near transit. If re-elected, she wants to continue building on her success in expanding access to free and reduced-cost health care, restoring civil rights, and funding education.
Her opponent, Republican Janell Hulst, is running on a party-line Republican platform this election. She wants to repeal police accountability measures passed in the Legislature, weaken oversight for corporations, and remove age-appropriate sex and health education from schools. She also is firmly against protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ youth and has no interest in helping flip our state's regressive tax code. This year, Hulst also attended a Kitsap County Public Health
meeting to argue against doctors and public health officials trying to protect the community from the latest COVID omicron surge.
Hulst's anti-science stances and pushes against the civil rights of her potential constituents put her at odds with Simmons, who has been a strong advocate for restoring civil rights, health care access, and the district's youth. Simmons is the clear choice for the 23rd District.