Balducci runs against Hirt for District 6 county council seat

Balducci runs against Hirt for District 6 county council seat

The former Bellevue mayor is essentially running unopposed.

The Metropolitan King County Council District 6 race should be a shoe-in for incumbent Claudia Balducci, who is running essentially unopposed to preserve her seat representing the Eastside district.

Balducci is running against Bill Hirt, who declined to comment for this story. In an email, he directed readers to his stopeastlinknow blog, which chronicles his opposition to Sound Transit’s East Link project that will bring light rail to the Eastside. It is the eighth time he’s run a similar campaign.

Balducci was elected to the county council in 2015 after serving as mayor of Bellevue. Before that, she spent 12 years on its city council. She said housing, transit and making government run better were among her top priorities.

“District 6 has got Mercer Island, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, all the points communities, small parts of Bothell and Woodinville,” she said. “You know, it’s an expensive area, but it’s going to turn into an exclusive area if we don’t do something to make sure people don’t get priced out of even modestly expensive homes in our area.”

Balducci said in her first term, she has laid the groundwork for future policy, including helping create a regional task force on housing affordability, which delivered its report late last year. It quantified the need for housing and made recommendations on how to get there. It also laid the groundwork for a committee of cities and corporations, which held its first meeting this summer to find ways to increase affordable housing.

“All of the county’s cities and the county agreed to these. That was actually one of the major accomplishments I’m most proud of,” Balducci said.

Since nearly all of her district is incorporated, Balducci said she has limited authority to write legislation directly, but can propose collaborative ways to work with both the county and the cities she represents. These include making recommendations for protecting renters protections along with land use reform that could allow more affordable housing to be built.

“If elected to another term, I want to really continue that regional cooperative work with the counties and the cities to advocate for and push forward policies,” she said

Balducci serves on the Sound Transit board of directors and said she would like to implement fare restructuring to assist more low-income residents. She also expressed support for affordable housing near transit hubs as part of transit-oriented development projects.

Balducci disagreed with Hirt’s opposition to Sound Transit and the East Link project.

“I think every major, successful metro region in this country and most places in the world have fixed route, high capacity mass transit systems,” she said.

Balducci also hopes to make the county government run smoother. In her first term, she said a paperwork reduction policy was implemented. The county found that one-third of routine reports weren’t required and were consequently eliminated.

“It’s important to me that we pull out some aspect of what we’re doing and take a good look,” she said.

The general election will be held on Nov. 5, and ballots will be mailed out on Oct. 16.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Courtesy of King County Council.
Dembowski and Perry to host town hall at Northshore Senior Center

The event will take place on May 19 at 6:15 p.m. at the Northshore Senior Center in Bothell.

Screenshot from ORCA website
New ORCA system launches for regional transit across the Puget Sound

Overhaul includes new website, mobile application and digital business account manager.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Annie Song. Courtesy of Enkor Competition.
Bothell High School student to perform violin solo at Benaroya Hall

Annie Song will perform Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op 19 by Sergei Prokofiev on May 15.

FILE PHOTO: King County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Dozens of King County Sheriff’s Office employees left jobs instead of getting vaccinated

This added on to the existing number of vacancies in the department.

Courtesy of Bellevue Downtown Association
Bellevue Downtown Association to host 15th Annual Bellevue Jazz & Blues Music Series

The event will be from June 1st to 5th and will feature over 25 artists.

Police lights (File photo)
Kirkland man faces charges after holding gun to victims’ heads

The defendant is facing two felony harassment charges and assault in the fourth degree.

Juanita High School Pool (Screenshot from Google Images)
$2 million in grant funding to help invest in aquatic recreation in North King County

Funding comes from the “penny for pools” amendment in the voter-approved 2020-2025 Parks Levy.

King County logo
King County audit finds backlog of property tax exemption applications for seniors, people with disabilities, and disabled veterans

The auditors found that program expansions lead to three-times the amount of applications.

Most Read