Democratic State Senator Bob Hasegawa is the latest candidate to announce he's jumping into the race for Seattle Mayor.
Hasegawa will formally announce his decision to run on Tuesday.
“As mayor, I think I’m in a much better position not just to implement truly progressive agenda but also to build the power from the bottom up that’s necessary to win that agenda,” Hasegawa said in an interview Monday.
Hasegawa, a former Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 174, believes his experience working for labor unions differentiates himself from the other candidates who have filed, so far.
“My history has been as a labor organizer and using economic justice as a foundational principle of social justice,” Hasegawa said.
Hasegawa said he plans to campaign on a platform of economic justice.
He believes city’s housing affordable crisis could be solved by building public housing. As a state legislator, he has also called for a publicly owned state bank. He also supports the city income tax proposal on high-end earners currently under review by city council.
Hasegawa, who also served as a delegate for Bernie Sanders to the 2016 Democratic National Convention says he wants to use his campaign to “bring back power to the people.”
“One of the things out the Bernie campaign that I really feel deeply is the Democratic party has really gotten away from its Democratic roots,” Hasegawa said.
He’s hoping to tap into the enthusiasm and grassroots network of Sanders supporters to help run his campaign.
Since the state legislature is still in special session, Hasegawa cannot raise money for a campaign since there’s currently a fundraising freeze.
“It could be an obstacle, but when I think about it’s really an opportunity,” Hasegawa said. "If we can show that people can overcome money in the political process, it really can be a game changer. We can really be a model for how the country looks at political campaigns now.”
Hasegawa joins ten other candidates who have filed in the mayoral race so far, including former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, urban planner Cary Moon and attorney and organizer Nikkita Oliver.
The filing deadline for candidates is May 19, and the first big test is the August primary.
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