Reardon joins call for burger joint

  • Wed Sep 1st, 2010 10:03pm
  • News

By Noah Haglund Herald Writer

EVERETT — Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon doesn’t look the fast-food type, often wearing tight polo shirts that display the results of a healthy diet and strict workout regimen.

He’s making an exception for Seattle burger chain Dick’s Drive-In, asking people to vote in an online poll about locating a new restaurant.

“The fact is, we need a Dick’s Drive-In in Snohomish County,” Reardon said Wednesday in a press release.

Reardon’s office, with hints of irony, is calling it “the county’s most important poll in decades.”

Jim Spady, the son of Dick’s co-founder Dick Spady, announced the poll Monday. An enthusiastic response soon crashed the restaurant’s website. People also flocked to Dick’s Facebook page to weigh in.

In contention are three areas in a 20-mile radius of Seattle’s University District.

The north end — between Shoreline and south Everett — led the ever-changing online poll Wednesday afternoon with 42 percent of the vote. The south end — West Seattle, South Seattle, Burien, Renton, SeaTac and Tukwila — followed with 30 percent. The Eastside was third with 26 percent. (The totals don’t add up to 100 percent because of rounding, the poll notes.)

Spady mentioned Lynnwood, Bothell, Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds and south Everett as possible sites in this county.

This isn’t Reardon’s first foray into the world of food and drink.

A year ago, a YouTube video surfaced in which Reardon touted the health benefits of Sea2o, a seaweed energy drink made by a Bellevue company. In the clip, Reardon appeared with county, state and U.S. flags in the background. The executive later specified that the video was a testimonial for a product he uses to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, not a paid endorsement.

The nudge for a north-end Dick’s was done with some intentional humor. In all seriousness, Reardon also praised the company for paying employees well, offering good benefits, donating to charity and awarding college scholarships.

The admiration apparently has been mutual. Jim Spady and family members gave Reardon a combined $4,500 in campaign contributions during his first run for executive in 2003, state campaign finance records show.

“I only eat at one fast-food restaurant, and Dick’s Drive-In is it,” Reardon said. “Snohomish County residents know good food when they eat it, and that’s why we’re the right location.”

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.