If you’re not planning to run for office in 2022, you can enjoy the holidays with your family.
If you are planning to run, the holidays are when you contact your supporters and let them know what your plans are — and try to ensure you have enough support. Those contacts will also give you the opportunity to raise money and secure endorsements for the race.
Some candidates have already made announcements. In a move that did not come as a surprise, King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn recently announced he will challenge Kim Schrier for her seat in the 8th Congressional District. Schrier is a Democrat who won in an upset in 2018 over former State Senator Dino Rossi. Former 8th District Congressman Dave Reichert will chair Dunn’s campaign in what is now considered a competitive district. Prior to Reichert, the district was represented by Dunn’s mother, Jennifer Dunn.
Reagan Dunn may have company in the Republican primary from Matt Larkin and Jerry Jensen, who have run before. Dunn would likely prefer to have the other two stay out of the race and save his money to focus on Schrier. For Schrier, she will not likely have another Democrat join the race, which gives her the ability to save money for the general election and hope the weakest candidate emerges from the Republicans. Dunn will likely be considered the front-runner for the Republican nod as his county council district overlaps with much of the 8th Congressional District.
And it was not a secret to either Democrats or Republicans that Dunn was interested in the seat when the bipartisan Redistricting Commission was meeting to finalize congressional boundaries. Now that the Supreme Court has decided to let the maps of the Redistricting Commission stand without change, the new 8th Congressional District includes more of Snohomish and King County. All candidates have some new areas to learn.
Speaking of competition, newly appointed Secretary of State Steve Hobbs has his first challenger in Republican State Sen. Keith Wagoner of Sedro-Woolly, who represents the 39th Legislative District, which includes parts of Snohomish, Skagit and King counties. It seems likely that Wagoner may be the first of many candidates to run. If you’re looking for experience, then watch to see if any of these three decide to run: Mary Hall, the current Thurston County Auditor; Julie Wise, King County’s Auditor; or Julie Anderson, Pierce County’s Auditor. They have the experience Hobbs and Wagoner lack because the county auditor runs the elections department.
The Hobbs appointment lasts through November of next year and then whoever is elected would complete the rest of the term in 2024. Republicans are still unhappy with Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee because their only statewide officeholder, Kim Wyman, was not replaced by another Republican. I expect more Republicans to announce over the next few weeks. A Republican from one of the population centers of Pierce or King counties may be more well known and have a better chance. Or an ambitious Democrat from King County may decide to join the race.
Federal Way buzz
Federal Way City Councilmember Martin Moore lost his council seat in the primary, but I hardly think Moore is done with politics. The only question is, what will he run for? Legislative positions are up in 2022, or he could wait two more years and run for the city council again. Or he could do what Mark Miloscia did and run for a mostly volunteer position to establish a broader base, such as the commissioner boards for Lakehaven Water and Sewer District or South King Fire and Rescue. But I don’t think Martin will stay off the ballot very long unless he gets a very good job offer.
Police issues remain at the top of the legislative discussion list. Both State Reps. Jesse Johnson and Jamila Taylor have their names continue to come up from local police chiefs and unions — as do legislators in the 47th and 33rd districts, and the more progressive districts in Seattle, who disagree with many of the legislative changes made to improve police accountability by the Legislature.
Recently, Federal Way Police Chief Andy Hwang wrote an opinion editorial where he sounded more like a political candidate for the Legislature than the police chief. Could he be interested in running for the Legislature? If so, that would put Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell in a very awkward position. Some months ago, former legislator Linda Kochmar, a Republican, was facing questions about her interest in running against Johnson or Taylor. All three incumbent legislators in the 30th District are Democrats, including State Sen. Claire Wilson. Kochmar has plenty of time to decide who her target might be.
Recently, Ferrell who is known to be ambitious politically, found himself sounding more like a candidate in a story in the Seattle Times, even though he was just reelected to another term as mayor. The topic was violence in the cities and the need for coordination. However, Kent Mayor Dana Ralph was ahead of him by a day. Ferrell is unlikely to be interested in running for the state Legislature, and the timing suggests he is unwilling to wait for statewide options in 2024. That narrows his options to King County? And he used to work in the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
When a politician makes a political move, it always means something. It will be entertaining to watch the maneuvering unfold amid the speculation in all the congressional and legislative districts and the Secretary of State.
Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.