Ryu plans to run for County Council whether appointed or not

Monday, January 28, 2013

State Rep. Ryu to run
for County Council
By Evan Smith

Democratic 32nd District State Rep. Cindy Ryu says that if she wins appointment to the County Council she will resign from the legislature as soon as possible and that she plans to run for the Council in the coming election whether she gets the appointment or not.

Ryu, Shoreline City Councilman Will Hall and Seattle attorney Rod Dembowski will interview Wednesday for the position on the Metropolitan King County Council left vacant when former Councilman Bob Ferguson became state attorney general Jan. 16.

King County Executive Dow Constantine nominated Dembowski, Hall and Ryu two weeks ago. The eight current County Council members have until March 17 to appoint one of the three to represent County Council District 1.

Ryu said Sunday that if she gets the appointment she would resign from the legislature because the County position is a full-time position that demands full attention.

She also said that the 32nd Legislative District needs full representation in Olympia.
Ryu said that she supports the system in place to fill legislative vacancies. Because Ryu won election to the legislature as a Democrat, elected Democratic precinct committee officers from the 32nd Legislative District would meet to nominate three candidates.

Names of the nominees would go to the King and Snohomish county councils, whose members would appoint someone to fill the position through certification of the November election, when District voters would elect someone to fill the final year of the two-year term that Ryu won in 2012.

Members of both councils would participate in the appointment because the District crosses the county line

The 32nd Legislative District include 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.


Anonymous,  February 2, 2013 at 5:33 PM  

She should do so. Rep. Ryu has a remarkable ability to mobilize large groups of people as well as amounts of money, the two key elements towards a successful campaign. Plus, she's got the biggest incentive of the three candidates to do so.

It's unfortunate that we'll be losing her as a legislator, as she was just getting traction in that arena, which seems far more suitable for her talents and style than the King County Council does. However, a couple of huge factors are the salary differential: $42,106 for a state legislator, which is woefully underpaid, vs. $135,525 for a King County Councilmember, 3.2 times higher (and over 25% higher than for both neighboring counties' councilmembers), with the latter also involving a far-shorter commute and being accompanied by a proportionately-higher retirement contribution. Recent stories about legislators charging dry cleaning and cell phone usage miss the point of their being woefully underpaid, they should be paid at least double their present rate. No doubt, the candidates were considering the county position for this and other reasons since Mr. Ferguson entered the race for Attorney General (February 2011, two years ago). It would be interesting to know when they each decided, but we'll never know, and they'll never tell!

I'm curious: do the King and Snohomish county councils make their recommendations separately, then get together, or do they hold joint meetings to determine their recommendation? The process described gives a lot of power to a relatively-small number of activists in the 32nd district. Don't they have about 50 members? From what I've read, the district has about 140,000 in population that they're recommending for. That's a huge differential.

Anonymous,  February 9, 2013 at 4:41 PM  

I asked several State and county elections officials about the process of replacing legsslators from districts that cross county lines.
Snohmish County auditor Carolyn Weikel told me that the 14 members of the two county councils would convene as a body to choose from among the three names submitted by a vvote from a special gathering of the elected Democratic precinct ccommittee officers from around the 32nd Legislatiiive District.
When the County county council memmbers gather, each of the 14 gets one vote.even thogh 53 percent of this district is in King County and even though the council members in the

Evan Smith,  February 9, 2013 at 7:32 PM  

When the county council members gather, each of the 14 gets one vote even though 53 percent of this district is in King County and even the council members in the two counties represent different numbers of citizens.

Evan Smith,  February 9, 2013 at 8:06 PM  

The precinct committee officers come from each precinct in the district, precincts which have substantially equably populations. Some are elected on our August ballots; others win election automatically because no one else seeks the position.
Yes, the number of PCOs make up a small number of the 138,000+ people in each district, but so do the seven people on the city Council and the nine people on the county council and the 147 people in the state legislature and the 535 people in Congress.

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