San Juan County Council member and environmental activist Kevin Ranker announced on April 11 that he seek the State Senate seat being vacated by Harriet Spanel.
Ranker, a lifelong Democrat, lived in the San Juans as a child, and he currently resides on San Juan Island with his wife and newborn daughter.
“In both my public and personal lives I am reminded every day how the decisions we make today impact future generations,” said Ranker. “Senator Spanel provided strong, visionary leadership for a long time and I look forward to building upon her legacy of progressive leadership.”
Ranker has represented local issues in Olympia while addressing the need for services in San Juan County county, which, he says, is “challenged by island geography and a limited tax base.”
He states that his experience in government and the private sector managing organizations is excellent training for entering the legislature, particularly during a sluggish economy.
“I’ve been successful making targeted, needed investments with limited resources while building opportunities to retain and create new jobs,” said Ranker, who has served as director of several conservation and community development organizations in addition to his elected office. “When elected, I’ll remain focused on the basics: protecting and growing local business and jobs, funding schools, and preserving our environment and small town quality of life.”
In addition to important local issues such as investing in Puget Sound cleanup and preserving family farms and business, Ranker has singled out education as a critical issue of focus.
“My grandmother, whom I lived with as a child, was an elementary school teacher on Orcas Island for many, many years,” said Ranker. “There is no issue that defines our communities and makes our region of the state such an enviable place to live more than having good schools that attract jobs and families.”
“I’ll be spending my spring and summer working hard to meet voters in every community of the district,” said Ranker. “Friends and volunteers in Bellingham, Bow, Mt. Vernon, Anacortes, and, of course, the islands are already calling and ready to lend a hand. I look forward to a great campaign.”