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Maureen Judge begins campaign for 41st District Senate seat
Maureen Judge has entered the race for state senator in the 41st District, taking on incumbent Republican Steve Litzow. In 2010 Litzow, a Republican, defeated Randy Gordon, who had been appointed to the vacant position by just 192 votes. The seat had been held by Islander Fred Jarrett, who left to work for the King County Council.
Judge says that in his first term, Litzow did not do enough to support education, and he appears to put his party affiliation above the needs of constituents.
Judge said she became interested in running for the Legislature after a turn shepherding a new bill through Olympia to safeguard infants from toxic substances.
Judge was the executive director of the Washington Toxics Coalition. WTC works to keep toxic chemicals out of homes, schools, and workplaces. They promote alternatives, advocate policies, empower communities and educate people to create a healthy environment.
Her most important accomplishment during her time there was the passage of a law to ensure that baby bottles, children’s food and beverage containers, and sports bottles are now free of the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA), as a result of a 2010 ban by the state legislature. She spent a good deal of time and effort, she said, personally working in Olympia and with members of the Legislature to ban these products.
Her experience there led her to want to do more in Olympia and to do so in a nonpartisan way.
“I want to be part of the solution,” she said of Olympia.
Her issues are: education, women’s health — in particular, a woman’s right to determine her own health care choices, fighting traffic and congestion, and championing the environment.
She said that beyond her experience in the Toxics Coalition and her work in high tech and marketing, it is who she represents in the 41st district that makes her the right candidate. She is a woman and a single parent making her way in tough economic times.
“I am the 41st District,” she said.
When she was tapped to become the director of the Toxics Coalition, the group was in dire financial straits. There was no money — and no money coming in due to the recession. Her first moves were to cut expenses at the nonprofit. Within the first few weeks, she had to let employees go.
“It was very tough,” she said.
Now, she said, the organization is in much better financial shape.
Judge is a member of the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce and has been on the board for the Youth and Family Services Foundation. Foundation. She moved to the Island in 2006 and lives on the North end with her daughter, who is a freshman at Mercer Island High School.
She has left the WTC and has returned to being an independent marketing consultant with clients such as Allegiant Air. In the past, she was a manager for Real Networks in Seattle and later moved over to Expedia.com in Bellevue. She is a graduate of Boston University with a degree in political science and English. She grew up in the Seattle area.
In addition to her volunteer work as board president of the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Foundation, Judge was a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit serving seriously ill children and their families. She has also served on the King County Conservation Voters Board and four years on NARAL Pro-Choice Washington’s PAC board.
She was also recently appointed to mayor Bruce Bassett’s Sustainability Task Force.
In 2007, Judge ran unsuccessfully for Position 3 on the Mercer Island City Council, now held by incumbent Mike Cero. The issues in that election are not that different than what is being discussed now.
She said then that she wanted to be a Councilmember to bring some fresh ideas to the Council.
“The skills I gained from managing in the tech industry have given me the experience reaching a consensus with a group of people with disparate ideas,” Judge said then.
“I think that women bring to politics a whole set of great strengths,” Judge said. “It’s a planning and organizing sensibility that women bring to political office that is such a strength.”
Judge is in the process of putting together her campaign. She said she has approximately $10,000 so far. According to the Washington State Disclosure Commission, Litzow has about $80,000.
For more, go to www.maureenjudge.com.