State Senator Cyrus Habib (D-Bellevue), a member of the Senate’s Democratic leadership team, has announced that he will seek the office of Lieutenant Governor in 2016. Habib, a Washington native and attorney specializing in intellectual property and entrepreneurship, previously served in the State House of Representatives. He has been recognized by the Washington Post and Governing Magazine as a rising star in politics nationwide.
Habib, who lost his eyesight to a rare cancer at age eight, is a graduate of Bellevue public schools and later studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar before attending Yale Law School. He is the son of immigrants—his mother an attorney who currently serves as a Judge, and his father who works as a Boeing engineer.
“I am excited to bring new ideas, real experience and a touch of the American Dream to this underutilized, constitutionally important office,” said Habib. “Losing my eyesight to cancer as an eight-year-old taught me the importance of hard work and creative solutions. And that’s precisely what the people of Washington State need in their next Lieutenant Governor, someone who will work tirelessly and embrace innovation so that the Legislature can finish its work on time, pass budgets that meet our constitutional and moral obligations, and function in a less partisan fashion.”
Habib, who has sponsored legislation to allow Washington residents to testify from their computers instead of travelling to Olympia, believes reforms such as this and others can improve the accessibility and efficacy of state government.
“We live in an era where people can meet with business partners across the globe, watch football games, and catch up on TV shows from the comfort of their home, office or local library,” said Habib. “Clearly we can make state government work better for everyday people, who cannot afford a lobbyist or take a day to travel to Olympia, by adopting technological innovations that improve access to the legislative process.”
The Lieutenant Governor, while most closely associated with presiding over the State Senate and serving as Chair of the agenda-setting Rules Committee, also serves as Governor when the elected Governor is out of state.
“As an attorney, I’ll bring a commitment to upholding the constitution and making sure the bills we consider reflect the laws of our state,” said Habib. “I’ll elevate the office as an advocate for kids, colleges and global partnerships. I’ll do my part to make sure that our state boards and commissions reflect the true geographic and demographic diversity of our state.”
Habib, who has introduced a number of popular proposals, including the Washington Voting Rights Act and legislation expanding paid sick leave statewide, launches his campaign with endorsements from legislative colleagues from across the state, including State Senators David Frockt and Pramila Jayapal, State Representatives Jessyn Farrell, Marcus Riccelli, and Brady Walkinshaw, among other local and state leaders.
Habib will immediately begin campaigning statewide, meeting with voters in every part of the state, leading up to the 2016 elections.