Candidates for director of elections come to Newcastle for forum
January 19, 2009
NEW — 5:59 p.m. Jan. 19, 2008
Nearly 50 people came out early Saturday morning to meet six candidates running for King County director of elections.
The candidate forum was held at The Golf Club at Newcastle.
This is the first time citizens here have ever voted for an elections chief, and the first time all ballots have been mailed for a county election.
Until now, the King County executive has appointed the director of elections. If the director didn’t do a good job, he/she was fired and replaced. But a citizen initiative to make the director of elections a nonpartisan elected position was approved in November by 56 percent of the voters. Feb. 3 was set as a special election for the voters to choose among candidates.
The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce and the Municipal League partnered to host last weekend’s candidate forum. Debbie Berto, publisher of Newcastle News and The Issaquah Press, and Jim Vesely, editorial page editor of The Seattle Times, moderated the forum.
All six candidates were present to answer questions for nearly 90 minutes. The candidates are current Elections Director Sherril Huff, David Irons, Julie Kempf, Bill Anderson, Pam Roach and Christopher Clifford.
In attendance at the forum were elected officials from the cities of Newcastle, Renton and Bellevue. Marcie Maxwell, 41st District representative, was also in attendance, along with interested voters from Seattle, Woodinville, Mercer Island, Renton, Newcastle and Bellevue.
Earlier last week, the Municipal League announced its candidate ratings, based on research and interviews.
“The league’s rating process is similar to a job interview for candidates,” said Brad Meacham, Municipal League chairman. “Given the managerial requirements of the elections director position, these ratings are especially useful.”
Those ratings were:
David Irons and Sherril Huff – Outstanding
Bill Anderson – Very Good
Chris Clifford, Julie Kempf, Pam Roach – Adequate