Two days after being elected to the Washington State House of Representatives, Democrat Cyrus Habib says he is ready to get to work on his top two campaign platforms—education funding and transportation.
Habib, a Kirkland attorney and political newcomer, defeated Redmond City Council member Hank Myers by a margin of 61 to 39 percent, according to results released Wednesday evening by King County Elections. He will take the place of retiring State Rep. Deb Eddy (D-Kirkland).
When he heads to Olympia next year, Habib said one of his top priorities will be making sure the State Route 520 project is completed "on time and on budget." Habib said he also plans to tackle other transportation issues that affect the 48th District, such as congestion on I-405, noting that many Eastside residents use the major highways to commute into Seattle and that many others use the roads to get to jobs in Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland.
“That is really important for our economic future and for our quality of life,” he said.
Habib also said he is committed to working with other legislators on both sides of the aisle to meet the education funding requirements mandated earlier this year by the Washington State Supreme Court and will look to the newly re-elected State Rep. Ross Hunter, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, for guidance.
Regarding the campaign against Myers, Habib said he was pleased the race stayed “largely civil”.
"He and I had an amicable relationship throughout the campaign,” Habib said.
Myers sent an email statement to Patch on Thursday morning congratulating Habib on his victory and thanking his campaign volunteers for their support:
I congratulate Cyrus on a well run campaign and wish him the best in Olympia. Elections are for the voters, and my goal was to give our constituents a better knowledge of their choices of issues and candidates. This has been one of the most enjoyable accomplishments of my life, and the support and hard work of the staff and volunteers was amazing. We have a district with varied issues and philosophies, but the voters are consistently interested and courteous. Cyrus will enjoy serving the 48th.
Habib, the son of Iranian-American immigrants, grew up on the Eastside and attended Bellevue schools, going on to Yale Law School. He has been blind since he lost his sight to a rare form of cancer in childhood.
His election to the statehouse makes him the first-ever Iranian-American to serve in state office and the highest-ranking Iranian-American in elected office, according to the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans.