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Julia Patterson to retire from King County Council

Julia Patterson -
Julia Patterson
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Julia Patterson of SeaTac, who has represented parts of Renton and Tukwila on the Metropolitan King County Council for 12 years, will not run for a fourth term on the council.

Patterson's political career goes back nearly a quarter century, when she was elected in 1989 to the first City Council of the newly incorporated City of SeaTac.

For nearly a decade she served in the state Legislature, representing the 33rd District.

Patterson on Friday wouldn't rule out running for political office again someday, but she won't run for county executive. Dow Constantine, a Democrat, finishes has first term as executive this year.

Patterson, 60, wants to "spoil her family" and enjoy nature, which during her long career she has tried to protect.

"I am truly making a passage," she said. "I am truly moving on."

There are many lenses to look at life, she said, and that's what she plans to do.

Patterson will remain active in the community. She is serving as an appointed trustee on the board overseeing the strategic alliance between Valley Medical Center and UW Medicine and is on the board of directors of the Highline YMCA.

"I will allow doors to open," she said of future opportunities.

Patterson and her husband Pat have three grown children and four grandchildren.

"I will have time to spoil my family," said Patterson who has been a "working mother and grandmother for many years."

She's wanted to spend "a great deal more time in nature. It revives me," she said.

Patterson, a Democrat, was elected to the King County Council in 2001, beating Republican Pam Roach with nearly 60 percent of the vote.

“Serving as a city, state, and county representative has been a great life experience and honor,” said Patterson. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. And above all, I’ve enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people in our communities. I give thanks for their willingness to express their hopes and dreams; their beliefs and their fears.  Most of all, I give thanks for their goodness and desire to make this a better world.”

She has served in every major leadership role on the County Council, chair and budget chair during the Great Recession.

She has also served in leadership roles on regional commissions and boards, including the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Transportation Policy Board, the  Sound Transit Board of Directors, King County Board of Health and the King County Flood Control District.

In South King County she helped lead the successful decade-long development of the “Lakes to Sound Trail,” a 16.9-mile pedestrian and cycling trail. When complete, the trail will run from Renton through Tukwila, Burien, SeaTac, and eventually connect to the Des Moines Creek Trail.

The trail will connect South King County with the regional trail system, offering new opportunities for residents to commute, recreate, and access major light rail stations and transit hubs.

In a statement Friday, Constantine thanked Patterson "for her commitment to public service." They worked together in the state Legislature and on the County Council.

"She has made her mark in many areas to benefit the people of King County, including human services, the county’s budget, transportation, and social justice. The region and her district is better today thanks to her service, and I know we will benefit from her contributions for many years to come," he said.

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