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Smith on Politics: State Sen. Frockt Says Dems, Republicans Will Have to Work Together

Democrats have small majority in state Senate

Sen. Frockt Says Dems, Republicans will have to work together

Democratic 46th District State Sen. David Frockt says that Democrats and Republicans will have to work together in the divided senate.

Democrats will hold a nominal majority of either 27-22 or 26-23, depending on the outcome of a close contest in southwest Washington, but Republicans have proposed forming a coalition with conservative Democrats.

Democratic senators have elected Sen. Ed Murray of Seattle as majority leader, but Republicans have proposed a coalition with two or three of the conservative “Roadkill” Democrats to make Seattle's Eastside Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom the majority leader.

Frockt said Tuesday that he wasn’t ready to predict how the Senate would look until he has had a chance to meet with other senators, but he said that the two parties will have to work together to get anything done.

Frockt was unopposed in the recent election for the final two years of the four-year term he has held by appointment since he replaced the late Scott White last year.

Meanwhile, local Democratic State Reps. Ruth Kagi, Gerry Pollet and Cindy Ryu, and newly elected Democratic Rep. Jessyn Farrell will be part of a clear Democratic majority that recently re-elected Democratic Speaker Frank Chopp.

Kagi, Ryu and Sen. Maralyn Chase represent the 32nd Legislative District, including Shoreline, part of northwest Seattle, Woodway, south Edmonds and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, Lynnwood and part of Mountlake Terrace. Farrell will join Frockt and Pollet in representing the 46th District, including Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and northeast Seattle.

Easy victories for Farrell and Pollet in 46th Legislative District

Democrats Pollet and Farrell continue to be headed for election as state representatives from the 46th District in results released Tuesday, with incumbent Frockt winning the State senate seat.

Appointed incumbent Democrat Pollet led Democratic challenger Sylvester Cann by a 65 percent to 34 percent margin in votes counted through Tuesday. Pollet had outpolled Cann by a 60-40 margin in the August primary, when they were the only candidates on the ballot.

Farrell led fellow Democrat Sarajane Siegfriedt through Tuesday by a 63 percent to 36 percent margin. Farrell will replace retiring Democratic State Rep. Phyllis Kenney. Farrell had outpolled Siegfriedt 30 percent to 22 percent margin in a six-candidate primary.

Frockt had more than 98 percent as he ran unopposed for the last two years of the four-year term he has held since White died last year. Pollet had won appointment to the House seat that Frockt held before his appointment to the senate.

Cann said Monday that he lost because he wasn't able to talk to enough voters.

Frockt said that Pollet won because his work on transportation and environmental issues had helped the district and won him support in Lake Forest Park and Kenmore, which had come into the district through redistricting.

Frockt added that both Cann and Siegfriedt are strong candidates with promising futures.

County elections officials will continue to count general-election ballots through certification of results next week.

Eyman wants constitutional amendment

Initiative sponsor Tim Eyman, fresh off another triumph, is seeking a constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds majority for the State Legislature to raise taxes.

Initiative 1185, which renewed the statutory requirement that tax increases get a two-thirds majority in both houses, was passing Tuesday with a 64 percent “yes” vote.

Eyman said Tuesday that the five public votes in favor of the two-thirds requirement for the Legislature to raise taxes without a public vote should convince legislators that voters want this rule.

The State Supreme Court is expected to rule before the end of the year on whether the two-thirds requirement violates current provisions of the State Constitution, as a King County Superior Court judge has ruled, a ruling that Eyman and his suporters have appealed.

Eyman said that instead of passing initiatives his supporters should lobby for a constitutional amendment; so he is doing just that.

A constitutional amendment would require a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House to go to the November ballot for a simple majority vote of the people. Getting the two-thirds approval of both the Senate and the House seems unlikely, but Eyman said Tuesday that he believes it can happen.  

Ferguson's replacement likely to be permanent rather than caretaker

I asked two weeks ago whether the Metropolitan King County Council would replace Bob Ferguson on the Council with a "permanent" appointee, one who would run next year for a full term, or a "caretaker," one who would agree to serve only until next year's election.

The Council appointed caretakers to replace former County executive Ron Sims in 2009 and to replace Dow Constantine on the Council when Constantine won election as county executive late that year.

The Council seemed to be headed for another caretaker apppointment because, when Ferguson leaves Jan. 16 to become attorney general, the remaining eight members of the now nonpartisan council will be divided evenly between four who first won election as Republicans and four who won election to either the Council or some other office as Democrats.

However, the Council will make the appointment from among three names submitted by Executiive Constantine -- probably Democrats and probably permanent appointees. And, a new law gives Democratic Governor-elect Jay Inslee the power to make the appointment if the Council hasn't made its selection wihin 60 days of Ferguson's departure. Since Inslee is likelly follow Constantine's advice, this also points to a permanent, Democratic appointee.

Ferguson won election as attorney general in the Nov. 6 election. The state will certify results Dec. 6.

Constantine will accept applications through Dec. 3. A committee of stakeholders from Council District 1 will review applicants' qualifications and submit a list of qualliified applicants to Constantine, who will nominate three candidates for Council consideration. If the Council doesn't make the appointment by March 17, the governor will make the appointment from among Constantine's three nominees.

Applicants must be registered voters in King County Council District 1, including Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Woodinville. the King County part of Bothell, north Kirkland, unincorporated areas between Bothell and  Kirkland and part of northeast Seattle.

The appointee will serve throuh the 2013 election, when voters will choose someone for a full  four-year term plus the last month of the term that Ferguson won in 2009.

Announced applicants include Kenmore City Councilman and Mayor David Baker, twice a Republican candidate for the state Senate; Shoreline City Councilman Will Hall; and Democratic 32nd District State Rep. Cindy Ryu.

Other candidates are Seattle attorney Rod Dembowski, a member of the 2011 King County redistricting committee; attorney and Shoreline Planning Commissioner Keith Scully; and King County Ombudsman Chuck Sloane, chairman of the King County Municipal League.

Sarajane Siegfriedt November 25, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Sarajane Siegfriedt has submitted her name for consideration if a "caretaker" is wanted by the County Council. She has recently knocked on thousands of doors as a candidate in the 46th Legislative District. The 46th District represents 62.5% of the County District 1.

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