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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

Former state Rep. Toby Nixon will try to recapture House seat from Goodman…

Two years after giving up his House spot in an unsuccessful run for the state Senate, Kirkland's Toby Nixon is trying to recapture his old seat.

He had said he wouldn't run this year, but said encouragement from local Republicans and growing "disgust" with the direction set by Olympia prompted him to jump in.

"This legislature's solution to every problem has been more government control, more regulation, and higher taxes and fees, rather than the free market solutions that would actually work," he said in a statement emailed to reporters shortly before midnight.

Nixon, a longtime (and current) Microsoft employee, has been an outspoken advocate for open government and civil liberties.

He's challenging Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, a Harvard-educated former Democratic National Committee attorney. (Like Supreme Court Justice Mary Fairhurst, Goodman also has a name that seems tailor-made for appearing on a ballot.)

Goodman this year spearheaded a law intended to spur the use of ignition interlock systems for people convicted of drunk driving. Simply yanking their license isn't working, he said. The bill is patterned on a similar one in New Mexico, under which drunken-driving road deaths dropped 30 percent.

Goodman also sponsored a bill giving a tax break to gas stations that install backup generators so they can still dispense gas during power outages. Large swaths of Puget Sound were left without power for days in 2006, and homeowners with generators quickly discovered that it was difficult to find functioning gas stations.

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.