Senior deputy King County prosecutor to challenge for 45th District senate seat

  • Monday, February 13, 2017 10:31am
  • News

Senior Deputy King County Prosecutor Manka Dhingra has announced that she will run for the State Senate in 45th Legislative District, which includes parts of Kirkland this year.

A release from Dhingra states that she will “seek to break partisan gridlock that continues to prevent needed action on education funding, use her experience to expand and improve mental health and violence prevention, and protect the rights of women and immigrants in an increasingly hostile political environment”.

The seat is subject to a 2017 special election and is currently held by Republican Sen. Dino Rossi.

Dhingra, a Redmond resident and Democrat, is touted in the release as an award winning PTSA mom, anti-domestic-violence advocate and community leader, making her first run for political office.

“After building a career as a prosecutor, mental health and domestic violence prevention leader, and volunteering in my kids’ schools, I recognized the urgent need to stand up for our rights and values following the election of President Trump,” Dhingra said. “We are facing direct attacks on the progress we have made in building a strong economy, a skilled, diverse workforce, great public schools, and the fundamental rights of women and immigrants. To protect what we cherish here on the Eastside, we need new voices with experience and passion.”

After beginning her career prosecuting sexually violent predators and domestic violence cases, Dhingra developed expertise in criminal justice reforms that address the needs of the mentally ill, veterans, and others for whom traditional jail — and the high costs of prosecution and incarceration — were neither reducing repeated criminal behavior nor helping restore lives.

As current Chair of King County’s Therapeutic Alternative Unit, Dhingra supervises the Regional Mental Health Court, Veterans Court, and the Community Assessment and Referral for Diversion program.

“We can improve public safety, save taxpayer resources and help people through difficult times by closing the revolving door of jail, homelessness, and crime that impacts too many Vets and people struggling with mental illness and chemical dependency,” Dhingra said. “Through innovation and reform, we can continue making progress at the state level in how we address these interrelated challenges, helping people and strengthening communities.”

As an advocate for women, Dhingra co-founded Chaya, a non-profit dedicated to reducing systemic violence in the region’s growing Asian communities through education, prevention, and organizing.

“Working with victims and the families, I recognized specific language and cultural barriers to reporting and self-protection in violent situations,” Dhingra said. “In the State Senate I will continue to advocate for policies that reduce violence in all our homes and communities.

A mother of two children, who attend Redmond Middle School and Redmond High School, Dhingra received the state PTSA Golden Acorn Award for her past work at Redmond Elementary School and remains a proud Girl Scout cookie mom.

“Our schools are the foundation of our community, and where we first nurture the passion that drives our economy, cures diseases, builds bridges, and creates works of art,” Dhingra said. “It is appalling that some politicians still refuse to sit down and address court-mandated funding solutions that provide every child their right to a quality education. As a product of public schools whose parents came to this country to provide education and opportunity for our family, I pledge to be part of the solution if elected to the State Senate.”

Dhingra said she is a commuter in a two-job household struggling with traffic and the pace of growth that creates day-to-day challenges for area families.

“I am a working mom who sits in traffic every day. I appreciate that dynamic growth of our economy comes with challenges to our quality of life,” Dhingra said. “I want to work with my colleagues on common sense reforms to our transportation system, continued expansion of transit, and thoughtful management of how and where we grow as a region. I want the Eastside to continue driving global innovation, and still be able to drive to work, school, and other activities.”

Dhingra holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington School of Law and Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. She has been a prosecutor with King County since 2000.

Dhingra and her husband, Harjit Singh, an engineer at SpaceX and former Microsoft executive, live in the Education Hill neighborhood of Redmond.


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@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.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

King County assessor wants Legislature to fix laws to help small businesses

Changes needed because of COVID-19 impact on commercial properties

King County could be in Phase 2 in two weeks

The county is also hoping the state lets them reopen several businesses by Friday.

Exterior Kirkland City Hall. Blake Peterson/staff photo
City: Businesses in downtown, other commercial areas encouraged to remain closed through June 2

Update: Phase 1 businesses are now encouraged to reopen but remain vigilant.

Downtown Kirkland. Staff photo/Blake Peterson
Update: Kirkland officials strongly encouraging residents to stay out of downtown area, waterfront parks after 1 p.m.

The recommendations are in response to a potential protest in Downtown Kirkland at 2 p.m.

Businesses asked to close by 1 p.m., visitors to avoid commercial shopping areas

The City of Kirkland states it has received reports of being a possible target for looting

Downtown Kirkland. Blake Peterson/staff photo
How is COVID-19 impacting Kirkland?

King County has released city-specific data on case rates, unemployment filings and more.

Kabal Gill, owner of East India Grill in Federal Way, wears gloves to hand over take-out orders at his restaurant on March 23. File photo
New guidelines for Phase 2 reopenings in King County

All workers will need to wear masks as restaurants, retail shops and other businesses reopen.

This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC’s laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. Courtesy photo
Inslee wants nursing home residents and staff tested by June 12

Governor says state will pay for test kits and personal protective equipment.

Most Read