Seattle Times editorial board

Benton County Treasurer Duane Davidson’s new ideas and a statewide perspective make him the best choice for Washington’s new treasurer.

Next year lawmakers will struggle with new ways to raise money for education. The state treasurer is the Legislature’s and the governor’s conscience on financial decisions and should be the one to protect the taxpayers’ interest if new revenue ideas are unrealistic.

Davidson, a Republican, has spoken up both in his home county and statewide on a variety of issues. He could help balance the power structure in Olympia, as long as he does so in a helpful, not strident way.

Strident is not a word anyone would use to describe Davidson’ pleasant approach to government service. He has the personality, as well as the skills, intelligence and experience to fulfill the duties of the office. Although his experience with investments and debt service has not involved the volume of money the state treasurer oversees, the office is filled with seasoned professionals who mostly need Davidson’s vision and management skills.

In Benton County, Davidson is known as someone who helps hammer out compromises and has been a leader outside the county treasurer’s office.

Alec Fisken, a former adviser to the city of Seattle and a former Port of Seattle commissioner, is also a viable candidate for the state treasurer’s job. His experience in both business and government is attractive, but he would clearly take a more activist approach concerning the treasurer’s relationship with the state Legislature.

The Legislature needs all the help it can get in finding a middle ground on education funding. Lawmakers need someone to work with them and not just tell them their ideas belong in the waste bin. Davidson could do that