Ryu to seek Ferguson’s seat on King County Council

Newly re-elected Democratic 32nd District State Rep. Cindy Ryu says that she will apply for the position that Bob Ferguson will leave when he takes the position of attorney general that he just won.

Ryu lives in the King County part of the district that includes Lynnwood, part of Mountlake Terrace, south Edmonds, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County in addition to Shoreline and part of northwest Seattle in King County.

At least five candidates have expressed an interest in the position, including former 32nd district state Senate candidate David Baker, the mayor of Kenmore. Candidates can apply through Dec. 3.

Ryu said early this week that she is interested in the position only with the understanding that she would run for a full term in next year’s election. When the King County Council last filled a vacancy three years ago, it chose a “caretaker” candidate who agreed not to run in the next election. That could happen again with the non-partisan council now equally divided between members who were first elected as Republicans and members who won election to either the council or some other office as Democrats, a probable deadlock that could lead to another caretaker appointment, but a new law that let’s the governor make the appointment if the County Council doesn’t make the appointment within 60 days would favor the Democrats’ appointing Ryu or some other Democrat who would run in next year’s election.

If Ryu wins the appointment, state law would not require her to resign from the Legislature, but, if and when she would, the Democratic precinct committee officers in the 32nd District would choose three candidates to give to members of the Snohomish and King county councils, who would choose one of them to fill the position through the 2013 election, when voters would choose someone to fill the last year of the two-year term.

Ryu recently won a second two-year legislative term by defeating Republican challenger Randy Hayden of Edmonds in the Nov. 6 election. She held a 72 percent to 28 percent lead through Thursday. Ryu led 76-23 percent in King County and 66-33 in Snohomish County.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com

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