Following 16 years on Kirkland City Council, McBride will challenge fellow Democrat Rodney Tom in August primary election Joan McBride, who recently stepped down after 16 years on the Kirkland City Council, announced that she will challenge Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom. Tom is a former Republican turned Democrat who handed Senate control to GOP conservatives in 2013.
McBride will run as a Democrat and will make education, transportation, and quality of life cornerstones of her campaign. “From my years of serving the people of Kirkland and the Eastside, I know the importance of great schools, transportation and transit investments, and protecting our communities’ quality of life,” said McBride. “We need leaders in Olympia committed to funding schools, passing a balanced transportation package, and investing in great communities. Unfortunately, the current leadership is unwilling to make common sense progress to maintain their partisan control. It’s wrong for our families, and wrong for our region.”
McBride points to stalled legislation that would invest billions in regional transportation and transit priorities, a refusal to close loopholes that would add $200 million to K-12 funding, and even legislation to safeguard access to reproductive health care for women that passed the State House but is languishing in the Senate—where conservatives hold sway in critical committees.
“Rodney Tom abandoned critical issues important to the Eastside in order to keep a title and corner office,” said McBride. “I look forward to talking with voters throughout the 48th district about the important issues that unite us and where, as a new Senator, I can make a real and positive difference.”
McBride has already raised nearly $20,000 in what promises to be a high profile race. She will begin knocking on doors meeting directly with voters in the coming weeks. She enters the race with significant Eastside support, including Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci, Redmond Council Vice President Kim Allen, and Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen.
As Mayor and on the Council, Joan served on the Finance Committee, helping Kirkland achieve a Triple A bond rating. She also oversaw the annexation of 35,000 residents, the purchase of the Cross Kirkland Corridor, development of the Kirkland Transit Center, and the South Kirkland Park and Ride TOD. Joan was also a champion for the recent parks and roads permanent levy, Youth and Senior councils, and the Teen Center.
An Eastside leader, Joan has served on the boards of the Kirkland Performance Center, Friends of Youth, Feet First, Together Center, Kirkland Interfaith Network, Washington Bikes, and on the PTA at Lakeview Elementary, Kirkland Middle School, and Lake Washington High School. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including Elected Official of the Year and a Golden Acorn.
Prior to her service to the City of Kirkland, Joan worked in non-profit development and community relations. Joan, 62, is recently remarried and enjoys a large extended family including her first grandchild.