By Evan Smith
State Sen. Maralyn Chase will get a challenge from a fellow Democrat in the coming election.
The challenger is Shoreline City Councilman Chris Eggen, who has twice won election to the non-partisan Shoreline council with endorsements from the 32nd Legislative District Democratic organization.
He has been a member of the District Democratic organization executive board and currently is a Democratic precinct committee officer and an alternate representative from the District to the King County Democratic Central Committee.
The 32nd District includes Lynnwood, Woodway and parts of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, in addition to Shoreline and part of northwest Seattle in King County.
In announcing his candidacy Friday, Eggen said that he is running because the district needs leadership that not only stands for progressive values but that can build consensus and get results on issues important to its residents.
“As a local elected official, I work every day to solve the real problems of real people, building consensus and focusing on results,” Eggen said. “We need that in the Senate to fund our schools, fix our roads and protect the safety net for the vulnerable.”
Eggen, who won election to the Shoreline Council in 2007 and 2011, worked as a research project manager at the University of Washington for 30 years before retiring in 2008.
He was elected deputy mayor by fellow Shoreline council members in 2012 and 2014 and has represented Shoreline on several regional committees.
He serves on the board of the Sound Cities Association and as chairman on three regional committees.
Eggen challenges Chase’s record, noting that she has passed only 14 bills out of 335 in her 13 years in both the House and Senate, and says that Chase has strained relations with many local governments in King and Snohomish counties.
“Watching only 4 percent of the bills you author become law is not legislating, it’s grandstanding,” Eggen said. “In the meantime, Chase has antagonized many local leaders with her unwillingness to collaborate. We deserve better from our elected officials.”
Eggen said that he is running on a platform that includes passing a state transportation package that includes substantial investments in transit, securing additional money for schools and providing the services and regulatory climate necessary to attract businesses to the region and afford them the ability to provide a more livable wage for workers.
As a Shoreline city councilman he has served on the Regional Transit Taskforce, the Shoreline Housing Advisory Committee and on a salmon recovery board. Eggen has served as treasurer of the Dollars for Scholars program and as a youth sports coach to his kids’ baseball, soccer and basketball teams.
Eggen is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and has lived in Shoreline with his wife Donna for the past 35 years.
Chase first joined the State House of Representatives by appointment at the beginning of the 2002 legislative session. She won two-year House terms in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 before winning election to the Senate in 2010. She serves as ranking minority member of the Senate’s committee on trade and economic development and is a member of the Rules Committee and the committee on energy, environment and telecommunications.
Chase already has an early endorsement from the District Democratic Committee. She has reported raising $8,314 and spending $787. Eggen has yet to report any fundraising or spending.
No Republicans or other Democrats have declared their intentions to run for the seat.
Candidates file in mid-May for positions on the August primary ballot. The top two vote getters in the primary, regardless of party, qualify for the November general-election ballot.