Auburn Reporter By ROBERT WHALE Auburn Reporter News reporter Jan 21 2010, 10:31 AM · UPDATED
Joe Fain, a local community volunteer and Chief of Staff for King Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, announced Monday that he is running for State Senate in the 47th District. Fain said his campaign would focus on growing jobs and small business, controlling government spending, and improving public education.
The seat has been held for the last four years by Claudia Kaufmann.The 47th Legislative District covers parts of Auburn, Covington, Black Diamond, Kent and Fairwood.
"We live in the region that pioneered aeronautics and the personal computing revolution," said Fain, 29. "With strong leadership in Olympia and a renewed focus on economic growth and education, we can bring jobs back to south King County. The economic crisis has hurt everyone, but raising taxes and cutting education funding makes this crisis worse.
“We need to encourage job growth, not punish businesses for investing in new employees," Fain said. "We need to improve resources for our community colleges and universities so that students of any age are prepared to enter the changing job market. We also need to give individual school districts the flexibility to innovate while still holding the system accountable. Every problem we face from crime, the economy, jobs, healthcare, and even the environment can be improved by supporting our public education system. The legislature's recent cuts to public schools and universities are endangering our state's future. However, I am optimistic that the mistakes of the past can be corrected."
Fain has worked for seven years as legislative staff to the King County Council and as an aide to the Presiding Judge for King County District Court.
He said he has seen firsthand that government can get positive results with the right leadership and the right priorities.
In 2007, Fain was involved in the creation of the King County Flood Control District, successfully advocating for funds to shore up levees along the Green River. Fain said he has also used his position at King County to advocate for transportation projects in south King County, particularly those that would improve traffic flow through key freight corridors in the Kent and Auburn Valley.
Fain’s parents were public school teachers and administrators in local school districts. The South King County native earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington. He later attended night classes, earning an MBA Business Administration and a law degree from Seattle University.
Fain said he has also worked hard to bridge the partisan gap in local government. He was the prime sponsor of the 2008 ballot measure that made King County elected positions non-partisan. King County voters overwhelmingly approved the measure, with the support of the nonpartisan Municipal League, the Seattle Times, and more than 64 percent of 47th District voters.
“Partisan bickering does not help our citizens. During elections, candidates should forcefully debate the issues but once they are in office, officials must work together for the good of the entire community,” Fain said.
Fain's supporters include State Attorney General Rob McKenna, King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, and campaign co-chairs Auburn Deputy Mayor Sue Singer and former State Senator Steve Johnson, who held the seat from 1994 to 2006.
“I’ve seen Joe in action, serving the people of the 47th District, since my days on the King County Council," said McKenna. "As Attorney General, I need a partner like Joe in the legislature."
Fain has served on the boards of many organizations representing south King County, including Auburn Youth Resources, Highline Community College Foundation, South King County Multiservice Center, and Relay for Life. He also served as co-chair of the joint Kent and Auburn school districts' boundary review committee. He was an award-winning swim coach in the Highline and Renton school districts, and was recognized as Washington State Coach of the Year in 2002.
Fain lives in Auburn and and is engaged to Steffanie Moxon, a judicial extern at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent and a 2010 graduate of Seattle University School of Law.
Auburn Reporter News reporter Robert Whale can be reached at email@example.com or 253-833-0218, ext. 5052.