No One's Stepping Up to Challenge King County Council

Reagan Dunn
With so many people in the hunt for both the open and incumbent-filled city council seats, you'd think there would be some interest in the five county council seats up for re-election this year, but so far no.

The odd-numbered council members (Bob Ferguson, Kathy Lambert, Julia Patterson, Pete von Reichbauer, and Reagan Dunn) are all seeking reelection this year. And with eight days left to file, only Dunn has drawn any challengers.

C. Mark Greene
There are actually two people vying for the Republican Dunn's seat. First up is Mark Greene. He identifies himself as the head of the Party of Commons. The Web site for the Commons party suggests that the platform is essentially green with a dash of traditional cultural views. In addition to running for office, Greene is sponsoring an initiative to lower the number of signatures required to get on the ballot if you can't pay the filing fee. Currently you must either cough up $1,250--1 percent of the annual salary of the position--or you must collect 1,250 signatures. Greene's initiative would take it down to 50 signatures for local office.

Before moving to Bellevue, Greene took a run at the U.S. House a couple of times in Alaska as a Democrat. In 2000 and 2002, he made it through the primary before getting around 17 percent of the vote in both generals against Don Young. And in addition to running for Dunn's seat here, Greene has started an early run for Patty Murray's U.S. Senate seat in 2010.

Beverly Tonda
Also taking on Dunn is Maple Valley resident Beverly Tonda. Tonda is the recording secretary for the Greater Maple Valley Area Council. In a statement she wrote when seeking her official position with the council, Tonda said she wanted to keep the rural areas rural. She lives in a log cabin that she and her husband built.

In a phone interview, Tonda says she hasn't run for office before but finally decided to after a four year fight with the county over what she and her husband could do with a road on their property. "I'm willing to become an advocate for people in King County and let people do what they want with their land," she says, provided that they stay within code limitations.

Tonda adds that she checked out the Public Disclosure Commission site to see what she's up against only to find that he already has over $327,000 to defend his seat. Both Greene and Tonda checked a box on their campaign forms saying the don't intend to raise more than $5,000. "I'm going to do this the old fashioned way, ringing door bells and meetings," Tonda says. "I don't think you should have to buy your way into office."

Greene didn't list a phone number with his campaign information and hasn't responded to an e-mail sent earlier today.

Realistically, Greene's and Tonda's odds against Dunn lay somewhere between snowball in Hell and flying pigs. But at least they're giving it a shot. It would be a shame to see the other four council members up for election this year reclaim their seats without any kind of a fight, even an easy one.

comments powered by Disqus