Voters’ questions and answers | Inside Politics

Bob Roegner. Contributed photo

I frequently receive questions and like to share them, and my answers, as other readers may have the same question.

Q. Who made the deal with the devil that allowed Donald Trump to be elected president?

A. Since they hadn’t won a World Series in over 100 years until last year, my guess is it was a disparate Chicago Cubs fan.

Q. You mentioned in a column that Mayor Jim Ferrell might run for office in 2018. That is a state office election year. Would he run against Sen. Mark Miloscia? Isn’t that a step down?

A. Every politician I know who has a law degree, as Ferrell does, wants to be either county prosecuting attorney or attorney general — it’s part of their DNA. Both are state positions and prosecuting attorney is up in 2018, attorney general in 2020. Both have very capable incumbents. But if one were vacant, or tempting for some reason, it would be hard for Ferrell to resist.

Q. Are we going to have a mayor’s race? It seems pretty quiet?

A. Eventually. Incumbent Ferrell has never really stopped campaigning, which some think has detracted from his learning how to govern. But he continues in full campaign mode and will have far more money and be better organized than any other candidate. Susan Honda will likely save her resources for later. Perennial candidate Clifford Mark Greene has at least one sign posted but will not have a lot of resources. New candidate Jared Scouten just filed his paperwork, but it is too early to see what he will do. With four candidates there will be a primary.

Q. Anything new on the council races?

A. Yes. Political newcomer Jesse Johnson will run against appointed incumbent Bob Celski. That will be interesting because Republican Celski is chair of Democrat Ferrell’s mayoral campaign committee. And Johnson is a Democrat.

Q. Any rumors on legislative candidates for next year?

A. Plenty. Some are hoping either new Democrat House members Mike Pellicciotti or Kristine Reeves will run against Republican Sen. Miloscia in 2018. Others would prefer that both work to retain their seats and protect the Democrat majority in the House. Former City Council member Kelly Maloney’s name has been mentioned as a possible Republican candidate if one of the Democrats leaves a vacancy, as has Democrat Sharry Edwards. Edwards was going to run last year but stepped aside for Reeves. Other names will surface.

Q. What’s up with Federal Way Public Schools board member Hiroshi Eto’s frequent letters to the editor? His topic was guns last week. Does he speak for the School Board?

A. No, Eto does not speak for the board, nor does he use his board title for his letters, and he is entitled to his opinion. His letters do place the other members in a very awkward position, however, as some people might reach an inaccurate conclusion. Eto seems to forget that the board is a team, and his Lone Ranger-style could be counterproductive. And, if anything he has written about were to come before the board, he could be placed in an awkward position. It’s probably just not a good idea to continue the practice. Some close to the situation have encouraged him to stop but with no apparent success. The issue is becoming a concern among board members.

Q. Who is up for reelection to the School Board this year?

A. Carol Gregory and Geoffery McAnalloy. School Board positions are elected by district. Both are likely to run and will be hard to beat.

Q. Which race will be the most interesting this year?

A. The mayor’s race. But another race to watch is deputy mayor. After city elections are finished, the seven City Council members will elect a new deputy mayor to serve for two years. You have at least four incumbent council members who wouldn’t mind being mayor if Ferrell were to leave in 2018 or who might consider running against him if he is re-elected and runs for a third term. There are also at least two candidates for council who could be interested. The new deputy mayor would have the inside track to run. If Ferrell were to lose this year, the new deputy mayor would be perfectly positioned to challenge the new mayor. Looking to the future, that race will be very interesting.

If you have questions please email them to me.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former Auburn mayor and retired public official. He can be reached at

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