Two will challenge Jarrett for Senate seat

J. Jacob Edel
Mercer Island Reporter

Two Island residents have stepped up to challenge current state Rep. Fred Jarrett by running against him for the vacant Senate seat of the state’s 41st Legislative District. With three candidates running for the position, the race will have a vote in the state’s first Top Two Primary this August.

According to the secretary of state’s Web site, nine Islanders filed to run for public office this year. Valerie A. Chan and Bob Baker filed to run against Jarrett for the open senate seat as current Sen. Brian Weinstein did not seek re-election after serving one four-year term. Jarrett immediately announced last December that he would go for the Senate after Weinstein said he was not running again.

Chan, 34, runs her own high-tech public relations consulting firm, called Plat4orm PR, with clients throughout the Eastside, Seattle and around the country. She listed transportation, improving public schools and controlling wasteful state spending as her top three concerns.

“I am running for the state Senate as an average citizen concerned about the community we live in. It’s time for a change. People are tired of the same old people doing the same old things,” she said.

In addition to her public relations work, Chan is a lawyer who said she put herself through law school while working full-time. She graduated from the University of Puget Sound and Seattle University Law School.

“I’d like to see better tax incentives and tax breaks for businesses, especially small business,” she said of her desired goals in Olympia. “We need better road improvements and a plan of action for our roads. I think I can get those done.”

Alaska Airlines pilot, immigration reform advocate and Islander Bob Baker also filed as a Republican to run against Jarrett. Baker said he decided to run for office because he is outraged the government spends as much as it does.

“I have been concerned about spending in our state for some time,” Baker said. “A lot of people are concerned about the economy. I see a lot of problems with the size and scope of the government.”

The former Navy captian and test pilot also said he supported a limited government not influenced by lobbyists.

“The government is supposed to protect the people,” Baker said. “I have pledged not to take any money from lobbyists.”

Baker said he graduated from Purdue University before serving 21 years in the Navy.

Democrat Judy Clibborn is running unopposed for a fourth term as a House representative of the 41st District. However, there is a race for the other House position. City Councilmember Steve Litzow is running as a Republican against Renton resident and Democrat Marcie Maxwell for the open House seat.

Two other Islanders are running for positions in the King County Superior Court. Judge Carol Schapira is seeking another term on the bench while assistant attorney general Sue Parisien has filed in pursuit of working for the county court as well.

Island attorneys Michael Bond and Frank Vulliet also filed to run for the state Supreme Court. Bond will run against incumbent Mary Fairhurst while Vulliet seeks to remove three-term justice Charles Johnson. Supreme Court Justices serve six-year terms.

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