The Moderate Washingtonian

Outlook on politics and elections in the state of Washington from an overall centrist viewpoint. My views tend to be libertarian in nature, but at the same time are largely nonpartisan.

30 May 2007

Satterberg named interim prosecutor

Not surprisingly, Norm Maleng's chief of staff Dan Satterberg was named interim prosecuting attorney today. He'll act in the position until the King County Council makes an appointment to serve until a special election this fall dictates who will serve out the remaining three years of his term. Patrick at Respectfully Republican has the scoop that the county GOP will be meeting June 2 to choose which three candidates to send to the Council for the appointment. If Satterberg will choose to pursue the job further, we will soon find out.

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27 May 2007

Rare open seat could become local race of the year

Although everybody is hesitant to say anything remotely resembling considering running for the King County Prosecuting Attorney office for fear of looking politically-ambitious while people are still coping with the passing of decades-long prosecutor Norm Maleng, the P-I recently ran an article highlighting how this rare opening could provide a marquee matchup this fall. While county council races have yet to draw opponents and even when they do we can expect all incumbents to be retained, the appointment of a successor and subsequent special election will almost certainly be amongst the most entertaining races of the 2007 off-year election cycle.

Here's the scoop: the county council (which, of course, is 5-4 Democratic) has to appoint a new prosecutor of the same party as the Republican Maleng. However, the deadline for the appointment is 60 days within Maleng's passing, and that will almost certainly make it occur after filing ends for this year's primary. In the meantime, the county council will pick a Maleng staffer to act as interim prosecutor until they make the genuine appointment.

As for speculated candidates, the P-I does a superb job. They list multiple candidates for each party that would make the special election exciting as hell for nerds like myself, including some of the most powerful politicians in King County. The opening also potentially gives ousted US Atty John McKay a high-profile office to seek, but aside from him the listed candidates are:

-Dow Constantine [D], county councilman
-Reagan Dunn [R], county councilman and ex-assistant US attorney
-Jenny Durkan [D], attorney and Gregoire's bestest friend
-Luke Esser [R], ousted senator and current state GOP chair
-Bob Ferguson [D], county councilman
-Jim Ferrell [R], Federal Way city councilman
-Mike McKay [R], John's older brother and US attorney in the previous Bush Administration
-Dan Satterberg [R], Maleng's chief of staff
-Mark Sidran [D], 2004 attorney general candidate and ex-Seattle city attorney
-Phil Talmadge [D], 2004 gubernatorial candidate, ex-senator and Supreme Court justice
-Diane Tebelius [R], former disastrous state GOP chair

Just looking at the list, I'd love to see many of these candidates run. As everyone ought to know by now, I have a political crush on Bob Ferguson and while I doubt he'd enter I think he'd be an incredibly strong candidate for the Democrats. Ever since Mark Sidran's narrow loss to Deb Senn in the 2004 Democratic AG primary I've been hoping he'd run for another office soon, so I'd be pleased to see him run as well. The thought of either Esser or Tebelius disgusts me as either would almost assuredly hand an easy election to the Democrats, but Dunn clearly stands out as a potentially-strong Republican candidate -- and he wouldn't even have to give up his current seat as it isn't up until 2009. And, of course, a potential candidacy of John McKay is the sort of stuff that makes maintaining a weblog like this worthwhile.

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25 May 2007

Norm Maleng dies

I got a breaking news email from the P-I not long ago saying that decades-long King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng died of a heart attack last night at UW. It came as a big surprise to me given that from all I'd seen he'd been going strong, but I suppose heart attacks have a way of popping up when one doesn't expect it. He was certainly a local legend, and will be missed.

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23 May 2007

Semi-interesting new city council candidates!

Casually checking PDC filings as I often do, I just noticed that two new and notable candidates have recently filed for this fall's Seattle City Council races. First, 2005 mayoral runner-up Al Runte has joined the club in running for the seat being vacated by Peter Steinbrueck. Runte received roughly 1/3 of the vote in the mayoral contest, though in the 3rd position train-wreck he may have a real chance if he can hold most of that support. Secondly, and more excitingly I think, local Green Party bigwig Joe Szwaja will be running but has yet to decide which seat to target. Now, I'm no fan of the Green Party in general and haven't ever voted for one of their candidates. However, considering that I generally like outsider candidates and love it when Independents/third parties can compete with the big boys, I'm excited about Szwaja's prospects. He ran for Congress against Jimmy McD in 2000 and drew a respectable 20% of the vote, and I knew he'd be back to run for something after that and had been waiting for this day to come. If I had to pick a likely target aside from open seat, I kinda figure he'd go after Jean Godden, but that's just a guess. Now if only Ruth Bennett were to file...

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Sump to retire, one candidate already declared

A recent post at Ridenbaugh Press states that GOP Rep. Bob Sump will be retiring, opening up a seat in the safe-GOP 7th district. Sue Lani Madsen has already declared her intent to run, though there will likely be several others in what I hope will turn into a tight, multi-candidate race for this safe seat. Madsen ran for the House in 2004, but lost to current Rep. Joel Kretz.

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21 May 2007

Bergeson out?

Call it a hunch. The article linked above spells out how she's lost support of some key supporters and seems to be tiring of her position and constant squabbles with the WEA. She still hasn't filed with the PDC and now that Mike Murphy has announced his retirement as treasurer she's the only incumbent out there who has yet to at least file paperwork for 2008. While I suspect she could probably win another term despite that people seem to be bailing on her, she isn't acting like someone who wants to be a candidate.

In the event of an open seat, outside the chance that Dave Quall runs for the position I have a hard time seeing her replacement being as moderate and independent-minded. With liberal Democrats out for blood on the WASL, a return to a Billingsesque OSPI seems likely.

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17 May 2007

McKay to run for office?

Today's P-I reported that former US Atty. John McKay will be speaking with Mainstream Republicans in the near future and speculate he may run for office now that he's out of a job. They don't mention any in particular, but the one they seem to dance around throughout the article is the upcoming governor's race, and given that Dino Rossi has yet to commit to it that may indeed be McKay's intention. Considering that he's a moderate Republican in a state where only moderate Republicans can win statewide, it seems to me he has the potential to be a bright spot in a barely-relevant state GOP, and despite that his recent notoriety has been a result of fighting with the Bush Administration, the party ought to latch onto him while they have the chance. Whether he does want to run for governor or not, keeping him around as a potentially-strong candidate for another office would be quite advantageous given their decimated statewide bench.


11 May 2007

Spotlight on Federal Way

This fall, four of Federal Way's seven city council districts are up for election, with only one incumbent thus far filing for reelection. However, as far as I know, only Councilman Dean McColgan has announced he will not be running for another term, and two moderately-known Republican women are thus far pursuing the opening. Renee Maher, who lost a race last fall to Senator Tracey Eide, recently announced a run at the seat. Also running is Dini Duclos, who got thumped by Councilman Eric Faison in 2005 despite easily winning the fundraising game. I assume there will be at least one more decently-known candidate to enter this race (presumably a Democrat), but for now I suspect Maher will have an edge over Duclos.

In the other races, incumbents Jim Ferrell, Michael Park, and Jack Dovey are thus far unopposed, though Ferrell is the only one filed.


05 May 2007

Rep. Lovick to run for sheriff

As speculated prior to the recently-finished legislative session, Democratic Rep. John Lovick has announced a run for the open Snohomish County Sheriff position, being vacated by a term-limited Rick Bart. The position already had several candidates in the race, but presumably the entry of Lovick will make him a heavy favourite. He has represented the 44th district since being elected in 1998, and has served as Frank Chopp's speaker pro-tempore the past four years.

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