Dems may play musical chairs

Democrat strategists want Brian Sullivan and John Lovick elected to county jobs this fall.

But they don’t want the two Democratic state representatives resigning from the Legislature too quickly if they win.

They are not worried about finding successors as hopefuls stand three-deep for Sullivan’s seat in the 21st District seat and Lovick’s in the 44th District.

What they don’t want is for the current Snohomish County Council to make the appointments for fear those selections wouldn’t be the top choice of Democrats.

It happened in 2004.

When an opening emerged in the 38th District, Democrat precinct leaders sent three names to the Republican-controlled County Council. While Mike Sells garnered the most support from activists, the council appointed David Simpson. Sells unseated Simpson in the following election.

This year, Councilman Kirke Sievers is the source of political palpitations. Though he’s been a “D” for a long time, he’s feeling a bit dissed by them in his current run for county treasurer.

Sievers didn’t receive the county Democratic Party endorsement, nor did labor give him the exclusive backing he sought.

Folks know he wouldn’t mind giving them both a poke in the eye in return, which he could do if the decision to fill either legislative seat reached the County Council before the end of the year.

Sievers could side with Republican Councilmen John Koster and Gary Nelson and cause a bit of havoc.

In the 21st District, it may be a moot concern. Sullivan, heavily favored to defeat Republican William Cooper, has done the math. He plans to keep his job until January.

Snohomish County Labor Council President Darrell Chapman should appreciate that.

He’s jockeying with Mukilteo City Councilman Marko Liias and Lynnwood Councilman Mark Smith for the appointment.

Given the chance, Sievers, Nelson and Koster won’t rush to pick Chapman.

In the 44th District, Lovick will feel pressure to wait, too.

Lovick, who is in a tough race with Tom Greene for Snohomish County Sheriff, has said he’ll resign immediately if he wins.

That could be heartache for Liz Loomis, the former Snohomish mayor who’s worked harder than anyone to gain the appointment.

Should Sievers view Loomis as the Dems’ top choice, he might fancy one of the other contenders: Snohomish County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Hintz or anti-Wal-Mart activist Lillian Kaufer.

Nelson and Koster could follow suit. Democratic Councilman Dave Somers might even join that bunch. Word is he’s still smarting at Loomis’ pushing Steve Hobbs into the race against Somers in 2005.

2008 is better for Loomis.

She can count on backing from newcomers Sullivan and Mike Cooper — who is favored to defeat Republican Renee Radcliff Sinclair for Nelson’s seat — and Democrat Councilman Dave Gossett. Somers won’t be an issue.

Whew. Who would have thought winning could cause such worry?

Reporter Jerry Cornfield can be heard at 8 a.m. Mondays on “The Morning Show” on KSER (90.7 FM).

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