Last Thursday the Times had a pretty good article about potential candidates for this February's special election to elect King County's elections director for the first time. The short campaign season means that we should see candidates entering the race all at once here in the coming couple weeks, and a crowded field could mean a winner elected with a small plurality of the vote. The winner will probably depend on the parties getting behind a single candidate in hope of keeping their base from splitting their way to victory for another candidate. While it's clearly Democrats worrying about this scenario the bulk of the speculated candidates in the Times piece were Republicans. The seat is nonpartisan, for an office that should be run in a very nonpartisan manner, but I think we're going to see a lot of partisan posturing for this office.
Sherril Huff [D] - appointed incumbent, not considered likely to run but possible
Ross Baker [D] - County Council chief of staff, ex-aide to Larry Gossett
Chris Clifford [R] - high school teacher and Pat Davis recall advocate
Joe Fain [R] - chief of staff for Pete von Reichbauer
Lloyd Hara [D] - Port Commissioner, considering running but may focus on reelection
Anthony Hemstad [R] - elected Valley Medical Center Commissioner, ex-Maple Valley city manager
David Irons Jr. [R] - ex-County Councilman, failed 2005 County Exec candidate
Jason Osgood [D] - failed 2008 Secretary of State candidate, election reform advocate and blogger
Pam Roach [R] - State Senator and carpetbagger from Pierce County
A few brief comments here, since this thing is going to get moving quick and I'm sure will be discussed at length soon enough. I don't think the Sims establishment will back Osgood and if he is to win it's going to be in a crowded race. His support in the Seattle blogs could be enough to earn him a win if there are several credible candidates and the winning margin is brought down. I think Hara will pass and Baker will be the establishment candidate due to his close ties to Gossett and Sims. Republicans are going to have to pick a candidate and get behind them, because it's going to be hard to win if their vote is split. Roach is a no-go and Irons will have a tough time winning outside of a packed field. I don't think Clifford's claim to fame will be enough to earn him a solid base of support even if a lot of people don't like Pat Davis. Hemstad might be the smart pick for the GOP as he is harder to paint as a GOP partisan and has a lot of local experience. Fain could prove to be an attractive candidate for the party but given his youth it seems unlikely.
Labels: 2009 Elections