Jason Osgood Tosses Hat in Ring to be King County Elections Chief

Jason Osgood, the recent Democratic candidate for Washington Secretary of State has tossed his hat in the ring to become King County’s first elected Director of Elections. Jason Osgood joins a growing list of potential candidates for the new county office approved by voters in the November 4, 2008 election.

The nonpartisan office was created by voters in the General Election when they voted to approve King County Charter Amendment 1 by a 56.25% yes vote. The first election to fill the office will be held on February 3rd. Filing for the office will occur from Dec 10th -12th. There will be no primary vote. Whoever gets the most votes wins.

Jason Osgood, speaking at the 46th District Democrats meeting on Thursday night announced to the group that he is running for the office.

Osgood in his race against Sam Reed for Secretary of State received 47.8% of the King County vote – some 390,934 votes. This gives him a good base to start form and name familiarity in the race. He has also been thoroughly vetted on election issues as a result of running for Secretary of State.

The Seattle Times reports that at least 7 other people besides Jason Osgood have expressed an interest in running. They run the range of the political spectrum political – including some far right candidates whose divisive politics hardly seem a good fit for what is supposed to be a nonpartisan office. People whose names were mentioned in the Seattle Times include:

“Chris Clifford, a local-government watchdog who is leading an effort to recall Seattle Port Commissioner Pat Davis, this week became the first announced candidate for elections director. …Among those thinking about running are veteran politicians state Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn; former King County Councilmember David Irons; and Seattle Port Commissioner Lloyd Hara….Other potential candidates are:
• County Council Chief of Staff Ross Baker, who says he has gone “two-thirds of the way” toward deciding to enter the race;
• Joe Fain, chief of staff to County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, and chair of the successful campaign to make elections of the council, executive and assessor nonpartisan;
• Anthony Hemstad, a management consultant, Valley Medical Center commissioner and former Maple Valley city manager.
With so little time for candidates to raise money and campaign, Nixon said it will be difficult for political newcomers to take on experienced politicians whose names are familiar to voters.”

Osgood just having been before the voters and running on election issues should be able to get a good start over the other candidates, especially those who ave never run for office before or that never ran county wide or those that are not mainstream candidates.

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