Inside Politics: Candidates enter the ring

They’re off and running — and there won’t be a lack of candidates ringing your doorbell.

They’re off and running — and there won’t be a lack of candidates ringing your doorbell.

The headliner will be the most exciting race for King County Executive in years.

While the position is now officially non-partisan, partisan politics will still be a major factor in how the endorsements, donations and votes are split up.

Former television personality Susan Hutchison is the “Republican” candidate and outpolls everyone in name familiarity. But the other major candidates will try to isolate her as being too conservative for King County voters.

The “Democrats” are Magnolia county council member Larry Phillips; West Seattle county council member Dow Constantine; Eastside legislator Ross Hunter; and Mercer Island state senator Fred Jarrett.

Phillips, who was out first, will battle Constantine for Seattle voters, while Jarrett and Hunter try to gain an advantage on the Eastside. That makes South King County the golden treasure of uncommitted voters. Watch for who raises the most money, the fastest.

The race for mayor of Seattle will help determine the fall voter turnout that will affect the executive’s race. There’s an old saying for incumbents: “If you’re going to have one opponent, you might as well have five.” That’s because they split up the anti-incumbent vote, which benefits the current officeholder.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels should be happy. He drew several opponents, but it will come down to him and council member Jan Drago. The advantage goes to Nickels.

Other interesting races to watch are the Sammamish and Kirkland city councils. Former television personality John Curley has filed for the Sammamish City Council. There is already speculation that he is setting up a race against county council member Kathy Lambert in the future if he wins the city position first.

In Kirkland, former Redmond Mayor Doreen Marchione is running for a seat on the city council. Her son, John Marchione, holds her old position in Redmond.

It’s going to be a fun summer. We’ll take a closer look at some of these races later.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner, a former mayor of Auburn, can be reached at

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