Add Federal Way judge race to King County political forecast

This is a national and state year in the election cycle, but there is so much speculating and maneuvering going on at the local level as a carryover from last year and preparatory to next year. We should do an update.

This is a national and state year in the election cycle, but there is so much speculating and maneuvering going on at the local level as a carryover from last year and preparatory to next year.

We should do an update.

In Federal Way, new city council member Dini Duclos has fit in nicely and after several years on the planning commission. She has a good feel for city government.

Next year, council members Jeanne Burbidge, Eric Faison and Linda Kochmar will be up for re-election. Don’t expect any openings, as most observers anticipate all three will run for re-election. Kochmar was selected as “Best Public Official” in the Best of Federal Way annual poll conducted by The Mirror.

But an interesting race may develop for Federal Way Municipal Court judge. Appointed Judge David Larson will be on the ballot and seems unlikely to draw opposition. Judge Michael Morgan will be finishing his first term, and most City Hall watchers believe he signaled his intent to run by opposing the release of the report on complaints by employees in his office.

The report could be tied up in court beyond next year’s election. That hasn’t stopped the speculation that he will attract a well-known challenger or two. In fact, council member Jim Ferrell, who works in the King County prosecutor’s office, is considering the race.

In Auburn, which has a mayor-council form of government, incumbent Mayor Pete Lewis appears likely to run for a third term. Some have speculated that council member Sue Singer might challenge him, but she seems content to wait until Lewis retires.

However, council member Virginia Haugen apparently doesn’t possess that level of patience and is openly courting the idea of mounting a campaign. Haugen served on the city council several years ago filling an unexpired term, but she was defeated in her bid for re-election and went back to being a community activist.

Last fall, she upset incumbent Roger Thordarson by campaigning against some of the city’s plans for the downtown. This has put her at odds with Mayor Lewis. Her candidacy is far from a sure thing, but she might decide this is her only shot at the big chair.

Most believe she will draw a well-known opponent for her council seat in four years.

In Kent, Suzette Cooke is two and a half years into her first term as mayor, and while there have been some bumps in the road with the city council, things have gone reasonably well. She was also voted “Best Public Official” in the Best of Kent poll sponsored by the Kent Reporter.

We’ll have to see how this plays out over the next few months. Also in Kent, they will appoint a new council member after the passing of Bob O’Brien, so council dynamics will change a little.

In Renton, new Mayor Denis Law is off to a fast start. A majority of the city council, along with some of the city’s powerful unions, supported his election, so that was expected. Law also chose to retain longtime city administrator, Jay Covington, which provides a stable environment for employees to concentrate on their jobs.

Employee comments so far are positive, and Law and Covington produced a coup by stealing longtime Federal Way finance director Iwen Wang.

While there are still a lot of bruised feelings in the community over Law’s defeat of former Mayor Kathy Keolker, he has three and a half years to heal the wounds.

In Tukwila, new Mayor Jim Haggerton hasn’t created much controversy, but there always seems to be a lot just beneath the surface in this city’s politics.

Longtime council member Dennis Robertson’s aggressive style may encourage a more assertive stance from the city council with a new mayor.

Haggerton’s seat on the council was filled by political newcomer DeSean Quinn, who shows promise as a future leader. But Quinn’s day job is working for King County Executive Ron Sims, so how he maneuvers through what could be some awkward county-city situations will also have some bearing on the city political dynamics.

Suburban politics is always interesting, so we’ll get back to them later.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner, a former mayor of Auburn, can be reached at bjroegner@comcast.net.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Election outlook for South King County incumbents | Roegner

Legislative races and King County Charter amendments to watch.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
In politics, why is everything blue or red? | Roegner

The election could get even stranger.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
I-940: Good policy, but watch closely | Roegner

State law regarding use of deadly force is finally seeing results in 2020.

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Editorial: Let’s clear the air on wildfires, climate change

Agreement and commitment is needed to address the causes of wildfires and climate change.

Kim Wyman
                                Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman. Courtesy photo
Editorial: Keep Wyman as defender of state’s election system

Kim Wyman, a Republican, has helped expand access to voting and improved election security.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
City needs to better address homelessness, race relations | Roegner

If Federal Way can fund new staff for litter, the city can afford a down payment on body cameras.

Mayor Jim Ferrell
Mayor’s Memo: A message from Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell

‘A budget that reflects our priorities’

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Republican’s write-in campaign highlights post-primary intrigue | Roegner

Can former Bothell mayor beat two Democrats for lieutenant governor post?

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
What does it mean to violate the Hatch Act? | Roegner

The federal law was established in 1939.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Editorial: State lawmakers shouldn’t wait to start budget work

Making tough choices on cuts and revenue can’t wait until next year and hopes for better news.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Race relations and your local police department | Roegner

The jury is our citizens, and they are divided.