Dennis R. Higgins wants to bring the perspective of a downtown-Seattle commuter to the Kent City Council.
Higgins, 38, is running for Position No. 4 on the Council to replace Tim Clark. Clark has opted not to run again after 16 years on the Council.
“I think I’ll be a good addition to the Council,” Higgins said in a phone interview Friday. “None of them commute to Seattle and one-third of Kent residents do. I do it daily and can bring the perspective of a commuter that is not on the Council.”
A Kent resident since 1995, Higgins commutes on the Sounder train from Kent Station to Seattle. He works as an information technology manager for the King County Geographic Information Systems. He helps local governments make decisions about transportation, public safety, zoning and other issues based on data and analysis.
So far, Bailey Stober, a Green River Community College student, is the only other candidate who has filed with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission to run for Clark’s position. Stober could not be reached for comment by deadline Friday.
Higgins, who is married with three daughters, has served on the parent-teacher association of the Kent School District, belongs to the Kiwanis Club of Kent, has worked as chairman of Citizens for Kent Schools to help a bond measure pass and is a member of the Kent Hotel Motel Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.
“One of my focus areas will be economic development,” Higgins said. “We need to keep that ball rolling.”
Higgins, who lives on the East Hill and has started campaigning door-to-door, praised the Council for bringing the Kent Station shopping mall and the ShoWare Center to downtown.
“I’m pleased they got Kent Station and the ShoWare Center done when they did because you couldn’t do those projects today,” Higgins said.
Even though this will be Higgins’s first run for an elected office, he has worked on several Council campaigns for Clark, as well as Clark’s unsuccessful run for the state Legislature in 1996.
Clark and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Albertson have endorsed Higgins.
“I expect to get the support of most of the Council members,” Higgins said. “I’m friendly with all of them.”
Higgins has raised $4,875 for his campaign, according to the Public Disclosure Commission. Dale Learn, a federal government affairs attorney in Washington, D.C., for the Gordon Thomas Honeywell law firm of Seattle and Tacoma, is the top contributor to Higgins at $500.
The Council chose Higgins as one of a pool of finalists last July to replace the late Bob O’Brien on the Council. Jamie Danielson, another finalist in the pool, ultimately won the seat. Danielson is running unopposed so far for Position No. 2.
Council members are paid $1,146 per month for the part-time, nonpartisan positions. The Council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Council members also serve on at least two city committees. They are elected to at-large positions.
For more information about Higgins, go to www.dennisrhiggins.com.
Candidates must file for office by June 5 with the King County Elections division. The primary is Aug. 18. It takes at least three candidates for a Council position to require a primary race. The general election is Nov. 3.
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