Five candidates are running — one unopposed — for seats in the Legislative District 41, which covers King County and includes Mercer Island.
The general election is set for Nov. 3, and ballots were mailed to registered voters on Oct. 14.
State Representative Pos. 1
Tana Senn (D) is the sole candidate for the two-year term of State Representative Pos. 1, which she has held since 2013. She is a former Mercer Island City Councilmember and a communications and government relations professional for nonprofits and foundations.
In her statement on the King County Elections site, the Hopelink and Washington Mental Health Summit boardmember lists equal pay, affordable child care, quality education and children’s mental health among the chief issues of her campaign.
“These are issues and causes I’ve championed to make life easier for busy families. Community involvement has always kept me grounded in ongoing and emerging issues affecting our communities and country,” she said.
She is endorsed by Planned Parenthood, Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Washington Nurses Association, Children’s Campaign Fund, Washington Conservation Voters and more.
Incumbent Lisa Wellman (D) is shooting for her second four-year term after defeating then-incumbent Steve Litzow in 2016.
She chairs the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee, and is a member of the Labor and Commerce Committee and the Energy, Environment and Technology Committee.
In her King County Elections site statement, Wellman said she wants to end divisive, partisan politics and create bonds aimed at building an even stronger, fairer economy that benefits everyone.
“Our community is facing a critical moment with the rise of a global pandemic and resulting economic slowdown. Unfortunately, we still see too much partisanship and division instead of joining together to get our economy working again,” she said.
She’s excited to tackle the present challenging situation where leadership is demanded: “I’ll bring my business experience, my results-based approach in the State Senate and my love of this community to bring back a strong economy and a vibrant thriving Eastside.”
Mike Nykreim (R) enters the election realm as Wellman’s opponent.
The custom home builder with a bachelor of science degree in construction management from the University of Washington possesses 40-plus years of leadership in local service clubs and church and is involved with the Clean Cities Association.
In his King County Elections site statement, he said the current legislators haven’t handled the state’s money well.
“It is long overdue to pluck from the private sector smart, current, and conservative business pros to salvage what is left from this beyond challenging era in which we now find ourselves. Prudent management of our tax dollars will be crucial to solving our traffic congestion issues, lack of affordable housing and other problems plaguing our state,” Nykreim said.
With 35 years of partnering with and running businesses under his belt — which featured surviving massive budget contractions and more — Nykreim said, “I promise not to tell you what I think you want to hear. Instead I will deal with the cold hard truth of what must be done to salvage our state’s economy and the way of life we all hold so dear.”
State Representative Pos. 2
Incumbent My-Linh Thai (D) aims to serve her second two-year term after winning the seat over Republican Michael Appleby in 2018.
Thai sits on the board of directors of the Vietnamese Scholarship Foundation and was a former president of the Bellevue School District Board and vice president of the Washington State School Board Directors Association. She has received the Washington State PTA Outstanding Advocate Award.
In her statement on the King County Elections site, Thai said that as a state representative she’s worked to improve educational outcomes for all students, and has voted for record investments in affordable housing, mental health, public health, stronger gun laws and 100 percent renewable energy.
“I’ll bring this passion to pandemic recovery, standing up for workers, small businesses and struggling families. As the first refugee elected to the House, I’m a voice for the vulnerable and believer in our potential,” she said.
Al Rosenthal (R), who is Thai’s opponent this election, served on the city of Redmond Homeless Task Force in 2015.
He earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Manhattan College and worked as an aircraft structural analyst from 1977-2014 for Grumman, McDonnell Douglas and Boeing.
“As an engineer, I work with facts and data. I want to use my experience to solve problems,” Rosenthal said in his statement on the King County Elections site.
If elected, he aims to prioritize spending of taxpayers’ dollars, engage citizens to determine their priorities in the areas of public safety, quality of life and education, and promote a healthy and sustainable environment and economy to provide opportunities for all.