3 Democrats vie for vacant County Council seat

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rod Dembowski
A lawyer, a state representative and a Shoreline City Council member are finalists for an appointment to a vacant seat on the Metropolitan King County Council.

(From our news partner, The Seattle Times)

King County Executive Dow Constantine sent the names of three finalists to the Metropolitan King County Council on Tuesday.

The council has 60 days to select a replacement.

The winner gets a one-year head-start on the King County Council, but all three say they are likely to run for County Council this year whether they get appointed to the vacant seat or not.

Will Hall
Rod Dembowski, a Seattle land-use and municipal lawyer for Foster Pepper; Shoreline City Council member Will Hall, 49; and State Rep. Cindy Ryu, 55 are all Democrats.

District 1 includes Northeast Seattle, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell and parts of Woodinville and Kirkland.

Its population is 214,883, according to the King County Districting Committee.

Constantine has nominated Dembowski, Hall and Ryu for the Council vacancy that became official when former Councilman Bob Ferguson took office as state attorney general Wednesday.

Cindy Ryu
The eight remaining Council members will appoint one of the three to represent Council District 1.

If no candidate gets votes from five Council members within the 60-day window, Gov. Jay Inslee must pick one of the three.

Constantine selected the three nominees from a list of five finalists selected by a citizens’ committee from 13 original applicants. The other two finalists were Shoreline City Planning Commission member Keith Scully and King County deputy ombudsman Chuck Sloane.

The appointee will serve in the non-partisan position through the November election, when District voters will choose someone for a full four-year term.

Dembowski, Hall and Ryu all have registered with the State Public Disclosure Commission as candidates for the position in the coming election, a step that allows them to raise and spend money for the August primary and November general election.

Dembowski has reported raising $63,936 and spending $3,752; Ryu has reported raising $31,710 and spending $2,639: and Hall has reported raising $3,070 and spending $120.

Ryu has been barred from fundraising from a month before the legislature convened and will not be allowed to raise money until after the session

Candidates file for ballot positions in May. If three or more candidates file for the position, they will run in the primary, with the top two vote getters advancing to the November election. If only one or two candidates file, the position will appear only on the November ballot.

Dembowski has said that he plans to run for the position whether he wins the appointment or not. Hall says that he will run if appointed, but if he isn’t appointed he will re-evaluate whether to run for county council of for re-election to the City Council. Ryu has not annswed question about her plans.

The position has been non-partisan since voters approved a 2008 County Charter amendment that made the county council, county executive and county assessor non-partisan.


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