The choice for King County Executive this year really isn’t a choice. The candidates include: Bill Hirt, a single-issue candidate fighting against light rail on the Eastside; Stan Lippmann, who says he got into politics to raise awareness of the dangers of vaccines (nope!); and Goodspaceguy (don’t be charmed by his quirkiness; he’s a free-market Republican).
Then you have the incumbent, Dow Constantine. As far as we can tell, Dow hasn’t even set up a website for his re-election this year, and he probably won’t need to. That said, it’s not for want of a better option that we endorse Constantine. In his eight years as county executive, Constantine has led King County to a place that is more transit-friendly, more responsive to homelessness, and more innovative at solving public-health problems. As chair of the Sound Transit board, he led the fight to pass ST3, possibly the single most important transportation project this region has ever undertaken; he joined Mayor Ed Murray in declaring a state of emergency on homelessness, which delivered millions more dollars to the effort to house those on the streets (though clearly more is needed in that area); and he’s now pursuing the politically brave effort to establish a pilot safe drug site in King County, a program that will save lives but also stir up NIMBY animosity.
Constantine’s response to the No New Youth Jail movement has been less than inspiring, but recent statements that he wants to work with prison abolitionists suggest that he may yet show leadership on the issue. In sum, he’s had a successful eight years at the county helm; let’s give him four more.
Read the rest of our endorsements here. Primary ballots will be mailed Wednesday, July 12. Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, August 1. Wondering where your ballot is? Check the county’s Ballot Tracker.