A longtime state lawmaker and a Bernie Sanders delegate to last year’s Democratic National Convention, Bob Hasegawa is running for Seattle mayor.
State Sen. Bob Hasegawa, a Bernie Sanders-supporting Democrat whose working life started as a union UPS truck driver, will run for mayor of Seattle, he said Monday.
A former Teamsters Local 174 leader, who today lives in the Beacon Hill neighborhood where he grew up, Hasegawa has served in the Legislature since 2005, first in the House of Representatives and more recently in the Senate.
The 64-year-old said he would kick off his bid for mayor Tuesday with a news conference on the steps of the downtown Wells Fargo Center “as a statement of his lifelong commitment to economic justice and to highlight the need for a municipal bank as the linchpin for his economic justice agenda.”
In an interview, he said a city-run bank is at the heart of his platform because it would help Seattle divest from Wall Street banks, raise revenue, provide small businesses with access to credit and better leverage taxpayer dollars.
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“If we can borrow from ourselves, we’ll be borrowing probably at a better rate and when we’re repaying it, we’ll be repaying ourselves,” he said.
Hasegawa announced Monday amid rumors that Mayor Ed Murray was on the verge of dropping his campaign for re-election. He said he’s been mulling a run for months — more seriously in recent weeks.
The Cleveland High School and University of Washington graduate is the son of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in camps during World War II.
In 2013, he voted against billions of dollars in Boeing tax breaks — the largest such deal in Washington history, when the company was threatening to build its new 777X plant somewhere else.
A bill of his requiring state agencies to post emergency notices in languages other than English has passed both houses this year and is on Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk.
Hasegawa is barred from raising money for his mayoral campaign as long as the Legislature is in session, and that could remain the case through August’s primary election, he said.
“I see it as more an opportunity than a challenge because this campaign is about rebuilding political power for the people,” he said.
“The fact that I’m barred from raising money will show that the people, united, can defeat money in politics.”
Hasegawa said no candidates “are really speaking to my issues” other than Oliver.
“I have to say I admire her for putting herself out there and stepping up, but I feel like I’ve got a much broader base and the experience to step into the mayor’s position and accomplish some real good for the people,” he said.
Libertarian Casey Carlisle and Safe Seattle activist Harley Lever also are running.