Perry defeats 20-year incumbent Kathy Lambert

Sarah Perry, center, celebrates with her supporters. Courtesy photo

By Hannah Saunders

After both parties heavily campaigned for King County Council District Position 3, Sarah Perry came out the victor over Kathy Lambert in the Nov. 2 elections. Perry garnered 55.68% of the vote while Lambert received 43.98% of the vote. Perry’s win shifts the democratic majority on the King County Council to 7-2.

“I’m so grateful to have worked with over 100 volunteers, giving thousands of hours, and doing really great work to reach all the voters, and have almost 56% of voters decide that they want me in the vote,” Perry said. “It feels great and I’m excited to be able to work with and for all the voters and residents of District 3—I just cannot wait to get to work.”

This was Perry’s first year campaigning for a governmental position, although she mentioned that she has been highly active in the 5th Legislative District since 2016, specifically civic engagements, which may have assisted her with receiving over 200 endorsements.

“I think we outworked her [Lambert] and we were very positive. This is a very inclusive campaign and engaging everybody just from wherever they were,” Perry said. “We didn’t run on bantering. We could’ve run a negative campaign and fought in that direction but mostly there’s so much work we have to do, and we need people who are excited to be engaged and do the work together.”

Perry’s team knocked on roughly 35,000 doors, with Perry herself knocking on about 50 doors per day. The campaign team also engaged in outreach to include phone calls and text messaging.

“We wanted to make sure that everybody could see themselves in the campaign,” Perry said.

When she enters office, her primary focuses will be on the continual development of ways to protect the environment such as upholding zoning laws and maintaining the growth management act, while adjusting areas of change if needed.

“I’m looking forward to working on those areas so that we have a regional conversation about our roads,” Perry said. “We also need to have a regional conversation about our farms, and our open spaces and the flooding that’s happening—and housing.”

Perry talked about how upcoming transportation plans must meet environmental goals, and how residents of District 3 need to be able to access public transportation options. Another hot topic for Perry is the human services sector.

“I feel very strongly about supporting behavioral health and substance abuse specialists so we can make sure that our police officers and sheriffs can focus on response time, and focus on protecting us and that they have the support they need from trained support specialists,” Perry said.

A campaign strategy of Lamberts was posing the idea that Perry wants to defund the police. Not so, said Perry, who wants to increase police department funding. She remains a strong supporter of first responders.

“I love the work that’s being done to standardize the approach for police officers across the state,” Perry said. “We need our police officers in situations where we need to be protected, and in behavioral health cases, it needs someone specialized in behavioral health.”

Perry acknowledged the amount of work that needs to be done regarding policing. She is in the process of coordinating conversations with county council members, as well as heads of departments and committees, in order to receive a crash course on what their goals are and how she can be of support.

On Jan. 1, 2022, Perry will assume office where she looks forward to working with members of the community to address these issues, among others. She also recognizes that she could not have done this without her supporters.

“That’s a great big thank you. That’s a thank you for your faith in my leadership, and I’m holding them accountable to working with me,” Perry said. “I want to get active, but I want to get active with them, not just for them.”

As for District 3 residents who voted for Kathy Lambert:

“I respect their vote and I want to earn their support. I want to work with them,” Perry said. “I want to understand how I can represent them in the best possible way, and I welcome phone calls, emails, meetings in their community groups, or one on one.”

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