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.

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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