State Sen. Joe Nguyen to run against Dow Constantine in King County Executive race

State Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center) Photo credit: Sen. Joe Nguyen's Facebook page

Three-term incumbent King County Executive Dow Constantine has a serious challenger to his re-election bid this year: State Sen. Joe Nguyen is running for the county's top job. 

Nguyen, a West Seattle Democrat, made the announcement in a video release Tuesday.

"Politics should be about people, not careers, and it’s increasingly clear that governments run by transactional politicians do not serve communities," Nguyen said in a news release. "Decisions from the top down are easy—but they do not solve real and systemic problems. Engaging communities, being mindful of the people you serve, adjusting systems and behaviors to accommodate the people you work for—that’s good governing."

Nguyen, the son of Vietnamese refugees who were resettled in White Center during the Vietnam War, was elected to the state Senate in 2018. He said his decision to run for office came after the shooting death of Burien teen Tommy Le in 2017. 

A manager at Microsoft, Nguyen is a progressive Democrat in Olympia, but he's also known in the Legislature as someone who works well with GOP colleagues. 

"It’s time for a King County government that acts as if -- and not just says -- ‘You belong here.’ It’s time for a King County government that reflects the care and compassion our communities demonstrate every day. It’s time for a King County government that listens to the voices of those furthest from power and centers the lived experiences of those navigating a society that wasn’t built for them," Nguyen said. 

Constantine, also a Democrat, was first elected as King County Executive in 2009. He handily won reelection in 2013 and 2017 with more than 75 percent of the vote in both elections. 

The deadline to file paperwork to run in the August primary is May 21. 

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