Editor’s note: This story originally appeared April 1.
Enumclaw’s campaign season got off to a rousing start March 25 when Councilwoman Liz Reynolds announced her candidacy for mayor.
Her announcement came during a “Business After Hours” event hosted by the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce at the Arts Alive! Gallery.
Thus far, Reynolds is the only candidate for the city’s top office. Contacted last week, two-term Mayor John Wise said he was not ready to make a statement regarding his campaign plans.
In a prepared release, Reynolds made it clear she is not happy with the direction the Wise administration has taken the city.
“Our city is in a state of decline and many issues need to be addressed,” she said through the release. She listed her priorities as implementing plans to address city core services, rebuilding failing infrastructure, building strong partnerships across all sectors and creating transparency and accountability in government.
“It has been an interesting few months,” Reynolds said, explaining the thought process that led her to run. “Deciding to do this takes a lot of introspection. There’s a lot of things you look at.”
Reynolds said the idea of seeking the city’s top office was generated by a groundswell of public support.
“For the past year or so, I’ve been receiving a lot of community input,” she said. “There’s not a day goes by that someone doesn’t ask me about running.”
In the end, Reynolds said, she launched a campaign because “there’s been overwhelming support from the community asking me to run.”
She makes it clear she’s running for the office of mayor – and not running just to unseat Wise.
The question she asked, and answered, of herself was, “Do I want to be mayor and can I do a good job?” When she answered in the affirmative, she began making plans to run.
When she ran for City Council four years ago, Reynolds appealed to voters with her “Liz Listens” slogan. She’s continuing that theme as she seeks the mayor’s post, announcing that she will soon launch a Web site dedicated to her campaign, www.lizlistens.com.
She calls her campaign strategy a “we” approach.
“It’s time to move forward together,” she said. “The citizens of Enumclaw have proven their commitment to their community, now it’s time for their city government to prove its commitment to them.”
Reynolds’ candidacy is particularly intriguing because two fellow council members are playing an active role in her campaign. Councilman Mike Ennis is serving as her campaign manager and Councilman Kevin Mahelona is handling campaign finances.
A former chef and working artist, Reynolds is known throughout Enumclaw in a variety of roles. Aside from fulfilling her council duties, she operates her Traveling Chef business and remains active in the arts community.