This Washington

Tarleton Will Run for Open Seat in 36th District

By Josh Feit March 12, 2012

Seattle Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton announced today that she's running for the state house seat being vacated by retiring Ballard-area Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36, Seattle).

Earlier this month, we noted that Tarleton was thinking about running.

The two-term port commissioner was first elected in 2007 and  has focused on the environment, hammering out compromise legislation on trucking emissions that initially angered diehard greens. Part of the port's reform faction, Tarleton voted in the minority against giving Port CEO Tay Yoshitani a big raise to $370,000 early last year. Her background is in national security—she's a strategic adviser at the UW's Institute for National Security Education. Before that she worked at the Pentagon.

In her statement today, Tarleton emphasized women's rights.

From her announcement:
We must renew the fight to protect women’s health and reproductive rights, Tarleton said. As a member of the Northwest Women’s Political Caucus and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Tarleton said passage of the Reproductive Parity Act is a priority in her campaign. “We have fought hard to secure the basic health and reproductive rights of women. It’s clear our battle to protect women’s health still has a long way to go. The women of today must always fight for our next generation,” Tarleton said.

Tarleton co-founded the Northwest Chapter of Women in International Security (WIIS) and organized a forum at the Port to discuss important security issues facing our region, including the proliferation of human trafficking. She is also a member of the UW Women's Center's Anti-Trafficking Task Force.

“With the leadership of Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, we worked together to help stop human trafficking in our state,” Tarleton said. “I am proud to have worked with Sen. Kohl-Welles to help pass legislation that made Washington the first state in the nation to criminalize human trafficking  - a crime primarily targeting women and children.”

Last week, we had a list of  people who are thinking of running, including: John Burbank, head of the progressive Economic Opportunity Institute (and father of the infamous “latte tax”); Progressive Majority’s Washington State director, Noel Frame; Brett Phillips, son of King County Council member Larry Phillips and the director of sustainability at Unico Properties; and Jeff Manson, chair of the 36th District Democrats. The Stranger added that Mike O'Brien aide Sahar Fathi is also thinking of running. And just this afternoon, Phinney Ridge nonprofit fund-raiser Nick Cail announced he was also seeking the position.

Seattle School Board member Michael DeBell told us he was going to run, but he got districted out.
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