County Council replacement for Ferguson likely to be permanent rather than caretaker

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Updated 11-18-2012 7:33pm
By Evan Smith

The replacement for Bob Ferguson on the King County Council is likely to be a "permanent" appointee who would be expected to run for a full term in next year's election.

The last Council appointee was a "caretaker," who agreed to serve only until the next election. That's partially because the now-nonpartisan Council was divided between four members who originally won election to the Council as Republicans and four who have won election to either the Council or some other office as Democrats.

The Council will have the same 4-4 balance when Ferguson leaves in January to take the position of State attorney general, which he won in the recent election as a Democrat.

Now, however, a new law says that, if the Council can't reach a decision within 60 days of the vacancy, the governor will make the decision from among the three nominees that County Executive Dow Constantine presents to the Council. Having a Democratic governor-elect and a county executive who won election to the Council as a Democrat means a permanent appointment, probably a Democrat.

Our news partner, the Seattle Times, identifies six probable candidates (in alphabetical order): 
  1. Kenmore Councilman and Mayor David Baker, twice a Republican candidate for the state senate; 
  2. Seattle lawyer Rod Dembowski, a member of the 2011 King County redistricting committee; 
  3. Shoreline City Councilman Will Hall; 
  4. Democratic 32nd District State Rep. Cindy Ryu; 
  5. Shoreline City Planning Commissioner Keith Scully; and 
  6. King County Ombudsman Chuck Sloane, chairman of the Municipal League.
Constantine said Nov. 8 that he would set a Dec. 3 deadline for applications for the position. He said he would appoint a committee of stakeholders from the 1st Council District to vet the qualifications of applicants and submit a list of qualified candidates to him.

The Executive then would choose three nominees to submit to the eight remaining County Council members. The Council must choose a new 1st District member by March 17 or the governor would make the appointment.

Applicants must be registered voters in the 1st County Council District, which includes Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Woodinville, the King County part of Bothell, part of Kirkland, unincorporated areas between Bothell and Kirkland, and part of northeast Seattle.

The appointee would serve through certification of the 2013 election. The position would appear on the 2013 primary and general-election ballots for both a full four-year term and the last month of the current term, which Ferguson won in 2009.


Anonymous,  November 18, 2012 at 2:30 PM  

"in alphabetical order"

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