Election forum set for chief candidates

January 2, 2009

By Administrator

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The election season is upon us once again. A little less than two months after the Nov. 4 general election, King County voters on

 Feb. 3 will decide for the first time who they want heading up the county’s elections department. 

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, The Golf Club at Newcastle and the Municipal League Foundation will host a candidate forum for the King County elections director position. The forum is at 9 a.m. Jan. 17 at the St. Andrews Ballroom of The Golf Club at Newcastle, 15500 Six Penny Lane. The event is free.

“This is a great opportunity for people in Newcastle to meet the candidates,” said John Jensen, chamber president. “You can be entertained, educated and get your morning coffee, all for no charge. “

In October, the three organizations hosted a forum of the 41st Legislative District candidates. Eighth District congressional candidates Darcy Burner and Dave Reichert also spoke.  

“The Golf Club and chamber are making Newcastle an important stop on the campaign circuit,” Jensen said. “People are getting used to the Newcastle chamber putting on a first-class event.”

The King County executive had appointed the elections director position since the home rule charter was adopted in 1968. Two months ago, voters changed the county charter to make the post an elective one, with the election to be held Feb. 3.

Six candidates filed for the nonpartisan position that pays $146,000 annually.

They include: 

  • David Irons, of Seattle, a former Metropolitan King County Councilman who in 2005 unsuccessfully challenged King County Executive Ron Sims.
  • Sherril Huff, of Seattle, current elections director.
  • Bill Anderson, of Auburn, a former bank industry software engineer.
  • Christopher Clifford, of Renton, a high school teacher who is trying to recall Seattle Port Commissioner Pat Davis.
  • Julie Kempf, of Seattle, who was fired from her elections department position in 2002 after officials said she lied about why absentee ballots were mailed late. She has consistently denied the allegation.
  • State Sen. Pam Roach, a Republican serving the Auburn area.

The election will feature the county’s first all vote-by-mail balloting. There’s no primary and whoever finishes first wins, even if they get a vote count short of a majority. The initial term expires at the end of 2011. Subsequent elections to four-year terms will follow the normal model of a primary followed by a general election. 

On Feb. 18, the election will be certified and the new director takes office.

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One Response to “Election forum set for chief candidates”

  1. marthafines on December 24th, 2009 3:22 pm

    Merry Christmas to all… and to all a good night.

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