Pat Sullivan is back in the race for reelection to the state House District 47 seat while Satwinder Kaur has decided to drop out.
Sullivan, D-Covington, announced in March his retirement after 16 years in the Legislature in Olympia when his term ends in January. That opened the door for Kaur, a Kent City Council member, to run for state office.
But when Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, asked Sullivan to run again because of the budget problems caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, Sullivan decided to jump back in.
“With the current health and economic challenges, the speaker asked me to reconsider my retirement to help with the impending budget challenges due to the COVID-19 epidemic,” Sullivan said in a news release earlier this month. “I have agreed to postpone my retirement to help our state meet these challenges.”
Sullivan has been the House Majority leader since 2010.
“I have asked State Rep. Sullivan to postpone his retirement,” Jinkins said. “His years of budget experience and leadership on many complex policy issues will be immensely helpful in crafting a path forward in these challenging times. I am excited for the opportunity to support Councilmember Kaur’s campaign for the Legislature when Pat decides to retire.”
Preliminary estimates by the state show a potential loss of $3.8 billion in revenue in the current budget cycle and another $3.2 billion in 2021-2023, according to the Washington Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.
Once Sullivan decided to seek reelection, Kaur backed out.
“I was excited to follow in State Rep. Sullivan’s footsteps but given the current environment, I know that his years of budget and policy experience will make a huge impact as we combat these economic and health challenges and my expertise will best be spent continuing to serve the people of Kent,” Kaur said. “Rep. Sullivan has my full and unequivocal endorsement for his reelection. I will be open to considering this opportunity again in the future.”
Sullivan hopes his experience can help.
“I’ve been a budget negotiator for 11 years,” he said in a phone interview. “I can’t solve the problem, but my experience will help with the tough decisions.”
This is filing week for elected office, with Friday the deadline. As of Wednesday afternoon, Sullivan is the only candidate to file for House District 47, Position 2, according to King County Elections.
Voters fired elected Sullivan in 2004. He served as the first mayor of Covington prior to the Legislature. House District 47 includes parts of Kent, Auburn and Covington.