Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci, a Sound Transit Board member and former director of the King County Jails, has announced that she will run for the King County Council. She will seek the District 6 seat currently held by 20-year incumbent Jane Hague. As reported on February 10, 2015 by Rob Butcher of Kirkland Views, Hague is planning to run for re-election which will make for an interesting race here on the Eastside. The district includes the cities of Bellevue, Mercer Island, Redmond and Kirkland among others. In the first few days of the campaign, Balducci reports $15,000 raised.
“We live in a dynamic, diverse, and growing region. It’s time for new leaders who reflect the priorities and potential of the Eastside,” said Balducci. “In my experience as a local official, transit leader and mom, I’ll bring new ideas and energy to the Council, helping to make sure our voices and values are reflected in critical areas of policy and planning.”
A proven problem solver and consensus builder, Balducci has helped lead Bellevue through contentious land use and transportation planning efforts to ensure planned light rail construction and continued downtown development. In her former role as Director of King County Jails, she helped to preserve public safety and streamlined spending to address revenue shortfalls after the recession, maintaining needed staffing levels while improving safety and conditions for the mentally ill.
Reflecting this track record of building strong, constructive partnerships, Balducci enters the race with endorsements from U.S. Representative Adam Smith, State Senator Cyrus Habib, State Representatives Tana Senn and Ross Hunter, along with Bellevue Councilmembers Lynne Robinson and John Stokes, and former Mayor Connie Marshall.
“Claudia Balducci has a proven record bringing people together to get things done for Eastside families,” said State Representative and former Mercer Island Councilmember Tana Senn. “Her style of leadership will be an asset on the County Council.”
“From assuring light rail expansion to protecting great neighborhoods for our families, Claudia has the track record and vision we need,” said Representative Ross Hunter. “She has earned my vote and support in this important race.”
State Senator Cyrus Habib said, "I have immense respect for Mayor Balducci's track record of leadership on the Eastside. She has consistently worked to enhance public safety throughout our community, support a thriving business climate, and develop a transportation system that works for everyone."
Balducci lives in the Lake Hills neighborhood with her husband and 9 year-old son, a student at Puesta Del Sol Elementary School. In addition to the Bellevue City Council and Sound Transit, she has served on the boards of the Puget Sound Regional Council, Eastside Transportation Partnership, Bellevue’s Wraparound Services Program, and Youth Link.
“I’m excited for this campaign and the tremendous support I have received so far,” said Balducci. “I look forward to meeting voters throughout the district over the next several months to help me be an effective County Council member for all Eastside families.”
For more information, please visit www.ClaudiaBalducci.com.