King County Democrats recommend Dembowski, Hall and Ryu for County Council vacancy

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Finalists for county council seat
L. Scully, Sloane, Dembowski, Hall, Ryu
By Evan Smith

The King County Democrats have voted to recommend three candidates – Seattle attorney Rod Dembowski, Shoreline City Councilman Will Hall and Democratic 32nd District State Rep. Cindy Ryu -- for appointment to the County Council position to be vacated soon by Attorney-General-elect Bob Ferguson.

At a late November meeting, the County Democratic organization gave Dembowski 35 votes and Hall 29 to 21 for Ryu, 20 for Shoreline City Planning Commission member Keith Scully, 19 for defeated 46th District Democratic legislative candidate Sarajane Siegfriedt, who is not among the five candidates that a citizens’ committee has recommended, and 13 for County Deputy ombudsman Chuck Sloane.

County Executive Dow Constantine soon will nominate three of the five candidates for consideration by the eight remaining Council members. The Council will have 60 days to name a replacement. If no candidate gets the necessary five votes, Governor-elect Jay Inslee will appoint a replacement from the five nominees.

The appointment will last through the November election, when voters will elect a candidate for a four-year term.

The Democratic committees of each of the legislative districts that overlap with County Council District 1 have recommended candidates for the appointment. The Council District 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 north Seattle.

The 32nd Legislative District Democrats have recommended Dembowski, Ryu and Scully. The 32nd District includes Shoreline and part of northwest Seattle in King County, and Lynnwood, part of Mountlake Terrace, south Edmonds, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County.

The 46th Legislative District Democrats have recommended Dembowski, Hall and Sloane. The 46th District includes Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and northeast Seattle.

Democrats in the 45th Legislative District have recommended Dembowski, Ryu and Scully. The 45th District includes Woodinville, Redmond, Carnation and Duvall, part of Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of northeast King County.

Representatives of the King County part of the 1st Legislative District Democrats have recommended Dembowski, Hall, and Ryu. The King County part of the 1st Legislative District includes Bothell, part of Kirkland and unincorporated areas between Bothell and Kirkland.

 Representatives of all of the Democratic organizations point out that they are recommending candidates for Constantine to nominate and emphasize that they are not making endorsements for the August primary and November general election.

Dembowski, Hall and Ryu have registered with the State Public Disclosure Commission as candidates for the August primary and November general election, a step that allows them to raise and spend money for the election. Dembowski already has reported raising $51,601 and spending $1,323. Ryu and other state elected officials are barred from raising campaign funds until after the legislative session. Candidates file for ballot positions in May.

No Republican organizations have reported weighing in on the non-partisan position.
 Now that County Council positions are non-partisan, the parties have no official role in filling vacancies.
If Ferguson had been elected as a Democrat, elected Democratic precinct committee officers from within the council district would have nominated three candidates for Council appointment.


Sarajane Siegfriedt January 5, 2013 at 10:25 AM  

Rod Dembowski looks like a winner. Not only is he knowledgeable and likeable, he has worked for 20 years in public service and service to the Democratic Party. Sixty-two percent of the County District #1 is in the 46th Legislative District, which is well over 70% Democratic.

Three of us, including Shoreline Councilmember Chris Egan, dropped out because we applied for a one-year appointment, not to run again as a candidate. Dow Constantine rejected this approach, tilting the outcome toward the better-funded and better-connected candidates. Well-reported by Evan Smith here.

Anonymous,  January 5, 2013 at 2:42 PM  

What would be interesting would be a table:
Down the first column, the endorsing groups, alphabetically.
Across the top of the other columns, the candidate names, alphabetically by last name, with a * next to those who are seeking the seat next November, whether they get this appointment or not. I think all will run for it if they win the appointment? If not, please let us know.

Evan Smith,  January 6, 2013 at 7:48 AM  

Dembowski is the only one to say that he will run for the full term whether he wins the appointment or not. Hence the $51K+ raised. Councilman Hall says be will run if he gets the appointment but will re-evaluate his options if he doesn't. Rep. Ryu says that she would only accept the appointment with the understsndin that she would run but hasn't said what she would do if not appointed; I haven't heard from Scully or Sloane.

Anonymous,  January 15, 2013 at 8:50 AM  

Evan, You are incorrect about Cindy Ryu.
She has already raised over $30K with the intention of running whether or not she's appointed. She has stated this several times. Also, she has by far the most elected and former elected endorsements and over 120 individuals. She's also been endorsed by 6 Labor organizations, 3 LD Districts and two women's organizations (and is now being backed by EMILY's List!)

Evan Smith,  January 19, 2013 at 12:40 PM  

The last anonymous comment is correct about Cindy Ryu. All of her fundraising and endorsements indicate that she intends to run whether she wins the appoitment or not. However, unliike Dembowski and Hall, she hasn't responded to my questions. This may be a problem with e-mail. Six people, including two state legiislatators, a city council member, a former council member and the editor of this news site, tell me they've had trouble reaching me. Now that I've fixed the problem, I'll try again to contact her.

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