After seriously considering a bid for elections director, King County Council Chairwoman Julia Patterson has decided to keep her day job.
While it was an interesting prospect and interesting to think about, I'm not ready to move. This position provides me with so many ways to make a difference. My main concern is that someone with the right credentials and the right temperament have [the elections director] position.
So far there are no other takers. Voters last week approved an amendment to the county charter to make the elections director post elected rather than appointed. The person will be chosen during a special election held in February. Some potentials rumored to have interest include: former King County Council Member David Irons, who ran against Ron Sims for county executive in 2005; Darcy Burner, who lost to Rep. Dave Reichert for the 8th Congressional District seat, again; and state Sen. Pam Roach, though state ethics law would bar her from raising money beginning Dec. 13, or a month before the legislative session begins. In addition, Republican Toby Nixon, a longtime advocate for making the elections director an elected post, may be interested after losing his bid for the State House to Roger Goodman last week.
It's a big job, but it pays well: $140,000.
Voters were amenable to the charter amendments overall, approving seven out of the eight on the ballot last week including one to make King County Council and executive posts nonpartisan and another to require additional qualifications for elected officials. Interestingly, though voters appear to enjoy amending the charter, they don't want to allow the citizenry free reign to do so. The electorate voted down the amendment that would've streamlined the process for citizens to come up with their own charter amendments by ballot initiative.