Metropolitan King County Councilmember Julia Patterson will not seek a fourth term, she said Friday.

Patterson is finishing up her third term representing the 5th Council District, which is in South King County. Before that, she represented the 33rd District in the House and Senate.

Patterson said that after 23 years in elected office, she wants to enjoy nature and her grandchildren.

“I intuit that it’s time,” she said. “I think there are other windows through which I need to view my life.”

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Patterson helped incorporate the city of SeaTac in 1989, when she was a stay-at-home mom, according to a statement she released Friday.

Back then the community was feeling the county had neglected it, and it was reeling from the noise and expansion of Sea-Tac Airport.

Patterson served five years as the chairwoman of the county Board of Health and successfully pushed for restaurants to put nutrition information on their menus.

Patterson said state Rep. Dave Upthegrove has expressed interest in replacing her.

“Nobody knows the community better than Dave Upthegrove,”she said. “I know he’s very well-prepared, and I hope he decides to run.”

Upthegrove said Friday he wasn’t prepared to state whether he would or wouldn’t run but planned to announce his decision early next week. “I’m likely to run. I’m not ready to pull the trigger yet,” he said.

Emily Heffter: 206-464-8246 or

On Twitter: @EmilyHeffter