Chris Stearns, an Auburn City Councilmember and attorney who has worked at the state and federal level to advance the health and rights of Native Americans, youth, and vulnerable communities, has announced his campaign for the State Legislature in the 47th Legislative District. Stearns, a Democrat, will seek the seat being vacated by State Representative Pat Sullivan, who is retiring at the end of 2022. Sullivan has endorsed Stearns.
As part of his current regional leadership responsibilities, Stearns works with other cities in King County to coordinate on a diversity of issues, including salmon recovery, affordable housing, drug dependency, and racial equity.
Vote 2022“Every day I work for my own constituents and throughout the region to protect our quality of life, provide opportunity and hope for marginalized and vulnerable people, and build stronger communities for all of us,” said Stearns, the first Native American elected to the Auburn Council. “The priorities we face in communities across South King County– housing affordability, behavioral health, supporting small business– require urgent investment and attention from our state government. We need leaders who understand the challenges facing local families, with real experience making a positive difference. I am thrilled for the opportunity to continue my record of public service in the legislature.”
In a legal career spanning 30 years, Stearns has worked to advance human and tribal rights, expand clean energy jobs, champion health care access and affordability, and improve economic opportunity for tribal and other marginalized communities.
“I’m proud of the work I have done, not only with tribal nations seeking economic opportunity and a healthier future, but for people from all walks of life whose voices deserve to be heard,” said Stearns. “On city council, as in my legal career, I’ve worked hard to get to know the stories of the people I work with and serve, and to develop policies and programs that improve lives and outcomes. As we deal with a homelssness and behavioral health crisis, and seek pathways to justice and recovery that restore people and communities, I’ll bring hands-on leadership to these important conversations.”
Stearns begins the campaign with endorsements from community leaders across the region, including:
State Representative Pat Sullivan (47th LD)
State Representative Debra Lekanoff (40th LD)
County Executive Dow Constantine
County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove
County Councilmember Rod Dembowski
County Councilmember Julia Patterson (former)
Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus
Auburn Councilmember & WA State Labor Council President Larry Brown
Auburn Councilmember James Jeyaraj
Auburn Councilmember John Holman (former)
Kent Councilmember Satwinder Kaur
Kent Councilmember Marli Larimer
Kent School Board Member Leslie Kae Hamada
Kent School Board Member Awale Farah
Covington Councilmember Jennifer Harjehausen
Renton Councilmember Kim-Khan Van
Renton Councilmember Ed Prince
Shoreline Councilmember Chris Roberts
Bellevue Councilmember Janice Zahn
Esther Lucero, Seattle Indian Health Board
Tom Warren, Seattle Indian Health Board
Estela Ortega, El Centro de la Raza
“Chris is exactly the kind of leader we need to meet the challenges facing South County families, and help build a better, more equitable future,” said State Representative Pat Sullivan. “Chris understands the priorities of our region, and is a strong partner on issues ranging from affordable housing to public safety. We need his voice in the legislature, working for all of us.”
“Chris understands what our suburban cities and communities need– affordability, thriving small businesses, and healthy neighborhoods,” said former King County Councilmember Julia Patterson. “He’s a proven leader who truly cares about the people he serves. He deserves our vote.”
“Chris is committed to working people– with a deep understanding that family wage jobs and good benefits are critical to strong communities,” said Auburn Councilmember Larry Brown. “As a city councilmember, I’ve worked with Chris to help families and protect jobs throughout the pandemic. As a labor leader, I know he will stand with unions and workers to create opportunities for all. We need his leadership in Olympia.”
A longtime resident of Auburn, Stearns and his wife Pamela have two adult daughters– both graduates of Auburn High School– and a grandson. They currently share their home with their adopted dog, Lovey.
For more information visit chris4wa.com.
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