Mercer Island councilman Litzow to run for 41st District seat this fall

Editor's note: This story is a revised and corrected version of a story printed in last week’s Reporter.

Mercer Island City Councilman Steve Litzow has announced that he will be running against Democratic Sen. Randy Gordon for the 41st Legislative District Senate seat this November. Litzow, who ran for the House seat in 2008 but lost to Democrat Marcie Maxwell, announced the news earlier this month. The Island resident has already begun campaigning.

Litzow is just as determined — if not more — to take on the Senate responsibility this time around.

“Basically, when Fred announced that he’d take the King County deputy job, we kind of looked at it and said, ‘I’ve got a good name ID in the district,’ we ran a very close race in 2008 — I lost by 748 votes — and so I decided to give it another shot,” Litzow said, referring to Jarrett’s decision to give up his Senate seat in November and take on Dow Constantine’s offer of King County deputy executive. Gordon took over for Jarrett last month.

If elected, Litzow, who is running as a Republican, will focus on boosting regional employment and improving transportation, he said.

“The single biggest issue is obviously jobs. We need to do everything we can to encourage and attract more jobs to the region,” the Islander said. “As for transportation, this issue never goes away.”

As of now, the only two candidates for the 41st District seat are Litzow and Gordon. Litzow said he has never met his competitor personally, so it will be a fresh race.

“This is going to be a great opportunity,” he said, adding that he is eager for the campaign to begin. “I start doorbelling this weekend. We did 18,000 doors in 2008, and we’ll do the same this year.”

In addition to serving on the City Council, Litzow holds seats in several regional organizations. He is a member of the Bellevue College Foundation Board and the Summer Search Board, a nonprofit organization that mentors at-risk students. He also has a regional assignment to the Eastside Transportation Partnership.

Litzow is a partner with the consulting firm EMM Group, Inc., and a former executive with Procter & Gamble. He is active with the Mercer Island Rotary, Chamber of Commerce and the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club. Litzow and his wife of 21 years, Jenny, have four children.

The 41st District includes the cities of Mercer Island, Newcastle and portions of Bellevue, Renton and Issaquah.

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