SHA photoJuan Martinez, Seattle Housing Authority commissioner and former co-director of Washington

SHA photoJuan Martinez, Seattle Housing Authority commissioner and former co-director of Washington Tax Fairness Coalition, a group that advocates for working families, has made his run against 10-year incumbent Sen. Margarita Prentice official. Says Martinez in a press release this afternoon:”I’ve knocked on over 2,800 doors and what I keep hearing about is health care, the high cost of living, time spent in traffic and our underfunded schools. These are the issues that people care about, and talk to me about every day,” Martinez said. “The people of the 11th are not being served on these issues.”Prentice, who chairs the Senate Ways and Means Committee, represents Renton and parts of Beacon Hill, South Park and Tukwila. She fended off a challenge from chemical engineer and Republican Bill Roenicke, who got 28 percent of the vote in 2004.But Prentice isn’t bulletproof. She’s taken some heat over the years for her stubbornness on certain issues, not the least among them regulating payday lenders. (Seattle Weekly’s Laura Onstot took an insightful look at the industry’s Washington king here.) And Martinez isn’t wasting any time jumping into the fray:He says Prentice’s support for predatory loan operators will have prominent play in the campaign. Prentice backed 1995 legislation legalizing the industry and has opposed measures to cap payday loans in the past. Martinez says he supports these limits and believes all financial institutions should be subject to fair credit laws.

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