Kirkland resident and former state legislator Laura Ruderman, hoping to retain U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee’s seat for Democrats should he run for governor, has announced she will run for Congress.
Ruderman filed with the Federal Election Commission last week for Inslee’s 1st Congressional District seat, which represents Kirkland, Redmond and other areas north, west and east of Seattle.
“I am running for Congress to get things done,” she said Tuesday. “That includes ensuring economic security, (addressing) women’s health issues, and really fighting very hard to make sure that people always have the right to organize and have their collective voices heard.”
Ruderman, 40, launched a bid to unseat Republican 1st District Rep. Rick White in 1998, but bowed out a few weeks later when Inslee joined the race. She said she will not challenge Inslee if he decides not to run for governor. But he is widely expected to do so with this week’s announcement by Gov. Christine Gregoire that she will not run again.
“I’ve not gotten any more foolish with age,” she said. “I think he’s done a great job in Congress.”
However, with redistricting mandated by the 2010 census, she could run for a new 10th congressional seat that is being added, if it were to include her home in Kirkland’s Highlands Neighborhood.
She said she has tried to determine potential Republican opponents, but none has emerged. “Your guess is as good as mine.”
She served three terms in the Legislature before running for secretary of state in 2004, losing to Sam Reed. She has since married and has two stepchildren.
Public education is also a priority, she said, noting that her older child attended the Discovery Community School on Finn Hill, a Lake Washington School District “Choice” school, and her younger child is currently a student there.
A goal, she said, would be to give all students the opportunity to experience less traditional public school options--although she acknowledged the severe school funding challenges.
“I love living in Kirkland and welcome the people who have recently been annexed,” she said. “I represented the people in Kirkland for three terms in the Legislature, and I hope they will remember how hard I worked to get that job and how open I was to them. I returned every call and every email.”
Raised in New York, she moved to the Seattle area in 1992 for an internship with the Seattle Repertory Theater, and has worked at Microsoft. Recently she has operated a fundraising consultant business, Ruderman Consulting.
Ruderman also announced her bid on her campaign site here.