The field of Democrats hoping to replace Connie Ladenburg in the Legislature is growing. Ben Lawver announced today he is running for the 29th district House seat representing South Tacoma, east Lakewood, Parkland and Spanaway.
Lawver is a labor leader who works for the AFL-CIO as a senior field representative for Washington, Oregon and Alaska. His last job was the political director for the Washington State Labor Council.
Soon after Ladenburg announced she would leave her seat behind to run for Pierce County Council, Democrat David Sawyer announced he would run for her seat. Sawyer, a clerk at John Ladenburg‘s law firm, and Lawver are splitting up the endorsements of Democratic notables. Activist and Democrat Janis Gbalah has also announced she will run.
Lawver, 34, said he was diagnosed with cancer at 21 and couldn’t afford health insurance — and he credits Washington’s Basic Health Plan with saving his life. Lawmakers have slashed the rolls of the plan and it has repeatedly been saved from proposals to end it altogether.
Lawver said he recently moved to South Tacoma and the district from farther north but has lived all over Tacoma, Parkland and Spanaway. His brother, Nathe, is a former Pierce County Democratic Party chairman.
Here’s his news release:
Ben Lawver announces bid for State Representative
Seventeen elected leaders bring early endorsements
TACOMA – The 29th Legislative District will have the choice to vote
for a true progressive leader now that Ben Lawver has announced his
candidacy for the open State Representative seat being vacated by
Connie Ladenburg, who is seeking election to the Pierce County
Council. Lawver’s decision to run is based on his belief that the
state needs to be responsive to the people.
In kicking off his campaign, Lawver laid out his vision for Tacoma.
Specifically, he noted his pledge to fight for people, jobs and
schools. Lawver, who has lived in Tacoma and Parkland for nearly a
decade, cites the fight over protecting the state’s health care plan
for low income individuals, the Basic Health Plan, as one of the main
reasons why he’s running for office this year.
“I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 21 years old. I had been
working two jobs and still unable to afford health insurance. Back
then, Washington legislators were committed to funding the basic
health plan, and I am alive today because of that investment.
Politicians are now debating if they will eliminate this life-saving
program when they should be fighting to save it.”
Ben also announced today the early endorsements of seventeen state and
local elected officials, including Tacoma School Board President,
Catherine Ushka and Tacoma City Councilmembers Marty Campbell and
“Ben will be a much needed champion for education on the Tacoma/Pierce
legislative team,” Ushka said. “I trust his integrity and will to do
the right thing for our students and our teachers despite fiscal
Councilmember Campbell agreed. “Ben Lawver is a tireless advocate for
working families. With a nearly ten year track record of getting
results he knows what can, and should, be done to move our economy
forward and get Tacoma working,” he said.
For more information and a full list of endorsements, please visit
Ben’s website at www.benlawver.com.