Gregoire takes sides in county prosecutor’s contest

  • Jerry Cornfield
  • Sunday, November 1, 2009 11:00pm
  • Local News

The hottest contest in Snohomish County not on Tuesday’s ballot is the one for the appointment as county prosecutor.

Democrats Mark Roe and Jim Kenny are the front-runners in the competition to succeed Janice Ellis. On Nov. 14, the party’s precinct committee officers will vote on their top three choices and send those names to the Snohomish County Council. The council will pick one possibly at its Dec. 9 meeting.

Roe and Kenny have been phoning, e-mailing and sending letters to PCOs (attached) in hopes of coralling votes. They’ve been getting some of their political friends to write letters and make calls on their behalf too.

Gov. Chris Gregoire did just that for Roe with a letter (attached). She points out Roe, the chief criminal prosecutor for Snohomish County, helped out in her 2008 re-election campaign by appearing at press conferences and in television commercials.

Gregoire’s involvement is intended to bolster Roe’s credentials as a Democrat with the PCOs who represent the real grass roots activists in the party.

They know Kenny as one of them. He is a PCO and in the past has represented the county party at the statewide level. As such, he had the early advantage in lining up support from them.

Roe, on the other hand, is working to convince the PCOs he is a true Democrat and is better able to win the seat outright in November 2010. (see attached).

It’s not without lots of challenges.

Recently one uber Democrat e-mailed other Dems to make the case against Roe:

The Snohomish County Democratic Party has suffered a disconnect from its elected officials for too many years. Mr. Roe’s appointment would continue that disconnect.

Prosecutor Janice Ellis, recruited by Mr. Roe, is a particularly egregious example of that disconnect. She has treated the Party with contempt and treachery.

The author, Kent Hanson, cites as examples that Ellis spoke at Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna’s re-election kick-off, endorsed Republican Dan Satterberg for King County prosecutor and

heresy of heresies, Ms. Ellis promotes and supports legislation to make the Prosecutor’s offices non-partisan throughout Washington. We need more, not less partisan offices.

Roe responded:

Kent’s email was primarily about things Janice Ellis has done. I am not Janice Ellis, and have disagreed with her on occasion, including the 3 points that Kent wrote about.

Roe was particularly direct on the issue of endorsing Republicans:

“I reject the notion of an elected Democrat endorsing the Republican candidate. I do not think it is right, or smart, to be on one team, but cheer for the other team. I won’t do that, and I didn’t do that in the McKenna race.”

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