With less than a week to go before filing starts for politcal office, Seattle Port Commissioner Lloyd Hara is changing races. He has decided to run for the vacant seat of King County Assessor with the conviction of Scott Noble on drunk driving charges – leaving the Assessor’s Office vacant.
Hara’s shift also brings a complete change to the Seattle Port Commission races – opening up a new seat without an incumbent. Port Commissioner races are like school board races. Candidates basically need to be retired or independently wealthy or capable of being tireless workhorses or have a working spouse.
Meanwhile being the King County Assessor is actually a paying job. Hara has served as a Port Commissioner for 3 1/2 years and said he would finish out his term. Hara previously was the Seattle Treasurer until that job was eliminated. He has also been an assessor in the past.
In a press release today Hara said:
“Over the course of the last several weeks and this Memorial Day weekend, I’ve had a number of people step forward and urge me to run for King County Assessor. It has been truly humbling.
County taxpayers are hurting. Thousands have been laid off from work and are finding it hard to find a new job to pay their mortgage and taxes. Others have taken pay cuts or seen their pay dramatically reduced.
At the same time, their property values have plunged. But these new, lower property values are not reflected in their King County property taxes. Taxpayers are being taxed as if the market was still appreciating at a double-digit clip. It isn’t. Taxpayers deserve a fair shake from the County Assessor. If there has been an across-the-board reduction in property values, local property taxes should reflect that. It is only fair.
Taxpayers count on King County government to treat them fairly and honestly.That, in part, is the paramount duty of the Assessor.
I am proud of my years as both Seattle City Treasurer and Seattle Port Commissioner. I always put the interest of taxpayers first. The same would be true if I was selected as King County Assessor.
And because I have previous experience running a public office, I am ready to lead the office from Day One. I will submit my name for consideration of the interim appointment, along with running for the office countywide”
A major change in the Seattle Mayor’s race is also expected tomorrow. Councilmember Jan Drago is rumored to be ready to jump into the Mayor’s race.