Now joining the 34th District State House 2 race: Joe Fitzgibbon

Sometimes, legislative races in this area feature only one candidate. But this year, in the August primary, the 34th District State House Position 2 race is shaping up to be quite the fight. Joe Fitzgibbon (D) of Burien has just joined Mike Heavey (D), “Mac” McElroy (I) Sabra Schneider (D), and Marcee Stone (D) in the race for the seat that Rep. Sharon Nelson – for whom Fitzgibbon has been working – will leave to run for State Senate. They’ve all been invited to the candidates’ forum at this Wednesday night’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting; meantime, read on for Fitzgibbon’s official announcement:

Joe Fitzgibbon, legislative assistant for outgoing Rep. Sharon Nelson and chair of the Burien Planning Commission, today announced his candidacy for Nelson’s seat.

“I am running because the 34th District needs new ideas, a fresh perspective on the challenges facing our communities, and real Olympia experience to hit the ground running,” said Fitzgibbon, a longtime 34th LD resident making his first run for public office. “I am the only candidate in this race with local and state experience, and I plan to campaign full time for the job.”

Nelson, who is seeking election to the State Senate, said, “I am excited to endorse Joe. He is highly respected in Olympia, both by legislators and staff, and has forged strong relationships that make him uniquely suited to represent our district in the Legislature. Our successes in reforming payday lending, protecting Maury Island and Puget Sound, and building an alliance of progressive legislators committed to working families and environmental protection owe a great deal to Joe’s policy knowledge and relationship-building.”

Representative Dave Upthegrove of the 33rd District also endorsed Fitzgibbon’s candidacy, noting, “In order to move the Legislature to act on critical local issues like job creation and cleaning Puget Sound, we need dedicated, hard-working leaders in the House of Representatives. I know that Joe is exceptionally well-prepared to be the kind of lawmaker that we need in Olympia and am looking forward to serving with him.”

Burien City Councilmember Brian Bennett, a former colleague of Fitzgibbon’s on the Burien Planning Commission, stated, “Joe is exactly the strong, progressive leader we need in Olympia. As Chair of the Burien Planning Commission, Joe has taken tough stands on complex, controversial issues, including land use, transportation alternatives, density, and protection of sensitive shorelines. Too often, our elected officials don’t exercise the leadership we need to get progressive policies in place, but Joe has demonstrated that he will be a strong, courageous State Representative.”

Fitzgibbon would be the first Burien resident elected to the Legislature since 1994 and is the only candidate in the race from Burien.

Fitzgibbon noted, “I am proud of my work on behalf of West Seattle, Burien, North Highline, and Vashon during my service in the Legislature for the past three years. From tax reform to helping small businesses to funding our schools and colleges, we need focused, proven leadership. I look forward to the opportunities ahead.”

To find out more, visit, follow @joefitzgibbon on Twitter, and become a fan of Joe Fitzgibbon for State Representative on Facebook.


Rep. Sharon Nelson, 34th

Rep. Dave Upthegrove, 33rd

Rep. Brendan Williams, 22nd

Rep. Geoff Simpson, 47th

Rep. Marko Liias, 21st

Bob Ferguson, King County Council Chair

Joan McGilton, Mayor of Burien

Rose Clark, Deputy Mayor of Burien

Brian Bennett, Burien City Council

Kathy Keene, Burien City Council and Water District No. 20 Commissioner

Lucy Krakowiak, Burien City Council

Bill Tracy, Southwest Suburban Sewer District Commissioner

11 Replies to "Now joining the 34th District State House 2 race: Joe Fitzgibbon"

  • chris arkills March 22, 2010 (10:45 am)

    Add my name to those proud to endorse Joe. Joe is smart, experienced in Olympia, and has great passion for his ideals.

  • Eden March 22, 2010 (11:38 am)

    Joe sounds great and in any other race I’d probably vote for him. But I have to say that Sabra Schneider is still the best and most innovative candidate in the race. We can count on Sabra to listen and respond to our concerns.

  • mark March 22, 2010 (11:58 am)

    Its unfortunate we can’t get one great, qualified candidate to run as an Independent who is beholden to only the voters and not a party….I know, just wishful thinking.

  • ivan March 22, 2010 (1:05 pm)

    I support Joe totally. I go to Olympia a lot, and I interact with a lot of legislators, during the session and the interim. Joe brings more Olympia experience to this race than all the other Democratic candidates put together, and his time spent on the Burien Planning Commission has served him well also.

    Some legislators’ aides do little more than answer the phone and make schedules. Joe has been Sharon’s strong right arm, and his command of the legislation, the players, and the process have helped make Sharon one of the best and most effective members of the House Democratic Caucus.

    Voters who meet Joe and talk to him will realize right from the get-go that he is ready, right now, to step in and serve. He won’t have any learning curve. His election would keep the 34th’s delegation one of the tops in the state.

    This is not to put down Marcee, Sabra, or Michael. I wouldn’t tell anybody NOT to vote for any of them. They are high-class people, and all of them would serve us well. Joe just has more of the attributes I happen to be looking for.

    I’m so excited that Joe has finally filed for election, and I know that the voters will share my excitement and enthusiasm for Joe once they get to meet Joe and talk to him. You will love Joe in Olympia!

  • Brian March 22, 2010 (2:01 pm)


    Geoffrey McElroy is running as an Independent. If you talk to “Mac” you will find that he is intelligent, interested in representing ALL of the voters in the 34th – regardless of party affiliation – and has the background and experience as a West Seattle small business owner to represent us well in Olympia. I encourage you, or anyone else who wants to get to know “Mac,” to attend the Highland Park Action Committee meeting this Wednesday. You can also find “Mac” behind the bar occasionally at the Triangle Pub. Come on in for a beer and some conversation…

  • ivan March 22, 2010 (2:25 pm)

    The 34th is represented in Olympia by three great Democrats — Joe McDermott, Eileen Cody, and Sharon Nelson, who give representation and public service their full effort. To imply that because they are proud Democrats, that therefore they are not beholden to ALL the voters, is both ignorant and insulting.

  • mark March 22, 2010 (2:35 pm)

    There might be a few good democrats, but on the whole the current 2 party system does more to divide than it does help us. I never have a problem supporting individual democratic candidates but could never support the party. Brian, thanks for the tip on “Mac” I don’t need much incentive to search out a cold beer and a little politics makes it all the better.

  • Sarah March 22, 2010 (3:14 pm)

    This is fantastic news for the 34th District!

    Joe has an incredible command of the issues facing the 34th District. In every conversation I have with Joe the depth and breadth of his knowledge of the issues is remarkable. He takes a creative approach to problem solving and there need to be more people like Joe in Olympia. Joe is became on of the most respected legislative assistants in Olympia in his 3 years working in the legislature because of his intelligence and his passion for improving the 34th District.

  • Sarah March 22, 2010 (3:20 pm)

    Ivan, I couldn’t agree with your comments more. I can’t remember the last time I was this inspired by a candidate. As far as party is concerned, Joe cares about the district and has creative ideas about how to make it better. I don’t think that makes him partisan. I can’t see how Joe’s party affiliation makes him beholden to anything or anyone. A better, stronger 34th district isn’t about party, it’s about sending the strongest representative to Olympia to fight for the district.

  • Brian March 22, 2010 (4:11 pm)


    Joe McDermott, Eileen Cody and Sharon Nelson are very good elected officials. My post is not about them.

    As much as you’d like to this to be a partisan debate – (loved your response to “Mac’s” campaign announcement in the Weekly – “If you’re not a Democrat we’ll kick your ass”) – many voters will look beyond party labels in this race to issues of experience, character, policy positions,and values.

    I personally will vote for the best, most qualified candidate to represent us in Olympia – regardless of party affiliation. I challenge you to do the same.

  • 34th Wannabe March 23, 2010 (1:23 pm)

    If I lived in the 34th, I’d vote for Joe. Would be great to have someone from Burien representing the District.

Sorry, comment time is over.