Sparks City Councilwoman Julia Ratti has announced her candidacy for the state Senate seat left vacant by the death of Debbie Smith on Feb. 21.
“I am devastated by the passing of my friend and mentor Senator Debbie Smith and heartbroken for her family, friends and all those who loved and admired her,” Ratti said in a statement issued last week.
“I have spent the past week reflecting on her life of service and have made the decision to ask the voters of Senate District 13 for the honor of completing her term.”
Smith, a Democrat, was elected to the Senate seat in 2012 after being a member of the state Assembly.
Smith’s daughter, Erin, said her family encouraged Ratti to run for the legislative seat, which represents Sparks.
“We are fortunate to live in a community blessed with many fine public servants, and Julia is no exception, “ Erin Smith said. “Our family has seen Julia’s work ethic, her values and her dedication to improving our community firsthand. We asked her to consider running … because she cares deeply about the same issues my mom cared about, and we are thrilled that she has chosen to do so.”
Ratti, who is completing her second four-year term on the City Council, announced last year that she would not seek re-election to the council. She is a leadership strategist for the Girls Scouts of the USA. She was CEO of the Girls Scouts of the Sierra Nevada until February 2015 when she joined the national office.