A public-health official and community activist has joined the crowded field seeking Rep. Dennis Flannigan‘s seat.
Democrat Laurie Jinkins announced her bid today to replace the retiring 27th District House member. She’s touting endorsements from the district’s other representative, Jeannie Darneille, and a number of other political notables.
Jinkins is deputy director of the Pierce County Health Department. She said if elected she would be the first openly lesbian politician elected to state office in Washington history.
Others running include Tacoma City Councilman Jake Fey, Hilltop activist Janis Gbalah, North End attorney Ken Nichols and Eastside Tacoma resident Dale Woodard.
After the jump, Jinkins’s press release:
TACOMA—Laurie Jinkins, Deputy Director of the Pierce County Public Health Department, longtime Tacoma Community College Trustee, public school mom and noted leader for equality and human rights, has announced her candidacy for State Representative in Tacoma’s 27th Legislative District. Jinkins, a Democrat, is seeking the seat being vacated by Dennis Flannigan.
“I’m running on a simple platform: create jobs and opportunity for hard working families, protect the safety net of health and human services, and invest in clean energy and transportation solutions that protect our quality of life and environment,” said Jinkins. “I’m excited for the opportunity to serve and the outpouring of support I’ve receiving as we launch the campaign.”
Jinkins enters with the endorsements of prominent Tacoma area elected officials including State Representative Jeannie Darneille (D-27), former County Chief of Staff Lyle Quasim, State Auditor Brian Sonntag (D), Sen Rosa Franklin (D-25), Pierce County Councilmember Tim Farrell (D), Former 27th Dist. Rep. Art Wang (D) and Tacoma School Board Member Kim Golding. In addition, Laurie has support from community leaders across the district including Lyle Quasim, Liz Dunbar, Dawn Lucien, Judie Fortier, Benjii Bittle, Steve Smith, Ron Lunceford, Artee Young, and Sondra Purcell.
Well known locally for leadership in public health and as a TCC Trustee, Jinkins cites this experience as critical to delivering quality, basic services in challenging economic times.
“I’ve worked alongside unions, service providers, employers and the community to set priorities and balance budgets,” said Jinkins, who chaired the TCC Board in 2009. “In this economy, we have to focus on outcomes that serve people and maximize limited resources. I’ll bring that focus on fiscal management to Olympia to help make the tough choices we face as a state.”
Jinkins, who if elected will be the first open lesbian elected to state office in Washington history, has a long track record of regional and statewide leadership on civil rights and domestic partnership issues, including co-chairing the successful Referendum 71 campaign last year which passed overwhelmingly in the 27th LD.
“As a mom and Tacoma resident, I see the importance of treating all people with the respect and dignity they deserve,” said Jinkins. “I want all of our kids to grow up in a world where we recognize that there is strength and opportunity in our diversity.”
Jinkins plans a volunteer-driven, grass roots campaign similar to those run by Darneille and Flannigan.
“I’m going to run a Tacoma style campaign of shoe leather, yard signs, and shaking hands,” said Jinkins. “I’m running to represent the values and priorities of the city I love, and look forward to a great, energetic campaign.”