Tag Archives: Sherril Huff

Sherril Huff Has Strong Lead in Early Returns.

In the first returns from King County Elections released just after 8 PM tonight, Sherril Huff, the current Elections Director for King County, has taken a strong lead over the 5 other candidates in the special election to fill the office of King County Elections Director. She is receiving 44% of the vote. David Irons is coming in second with only 19% of the vote. The 9:00 PM count is below:

Sherril Huff ……………..75,983….. 44.00%
David Irons……………. 33,200……19.23%
Pam Roach ……………..28,896 ……16.73%
Bill Anderson …………..14,775…….. 8.56%
Julie Kempf …………….12,069 ……..6.99%
Christopher Clifford,….6,854 ………3.97%
Write-in……………………… 895……….. .52%

The turnout as expected in ballots mailed in is only 15% at present. For the importance of the office this is rather bleak but for the Republicans who pushed for this “nonpartisan” election it has to be a big disappointment. Sherril Huff’s lead looks very difficult to overcome and the candidate appointed to run the Elections Office by Democrat Ron Sims is the probable winner.

Irons raised the most money at $158,000 , $132,000 of his own money. His last report showed him spending $107,176 of his money – $75,000 on direct mail.

Sherril Huff meanwhile raised some $56,761. Some $30,000 came from the Washington State Democrats.

Pam Roach only raised $3,200 and was limited from raising money while the Legislature is in session.

Will David Irons be Nonpartisan if he’s Elected?

Back in 2006, David Irons, a former Republican officeholder who is now running for the nonpartisan office of King County Elections Director roundly criticized a fellow Republican, now a Democrat, for pointing out PDC errors of the King County Republicans. Richard Pope first pointed out the errors to the Republican Party organization and after 3 months, when they had not been corrected, filed a complaint with the PDC.

As reported in the Seattle PI :

The investigation found that the party had missed the deadlines for more than 100 reports, which were filed anywhere from five to 306 days late. The reports covered nearly $170,000 in contributions and other money received and more than $180,000 in expenditures. For the year, the party took in more than $342,000 in contributions and receipts and spent nearly $358,000.

The investigators also found that the county GOP had failed to provide the required occupation and employer information for 90 percent of the contributors who gave more than $100. That represented 114 contributors who gave a total of $92,744….”.

The Republican Party was fined $40,000 by the PDC for their mistakes.

But David Irons, in a fiercely worded e-mail sent to Richard Pope afterwards apparently didn’t take kindly to his Republican Party being called to task for violations of our state’s public disclosure laws:

“In your effort to damage others I fear you have destroyed what little reputation you had remaining. It must be lonely sitting on that pedestal you built for yourself.

I personally forgive you for your actions and the manor in which you have so aggressively attack good people. As for your hate, I sorry to say that is likely to continue to consume you for now until eternity.”

Kind of makes you wonder what kind of response people in the King County Elections Department would receive from him if they point out mistakes or problems if he was elected their boss. I certainly would not feel comfortable working for someone with this kind of attitude. And will his decisions favor one party over the other? Can you expect an old dog to learn new nonpartisan rules?

You can read the original post and the full e-mail over at the blog Horsesass.org entitled David Irons Slams Richard Pope.

Also you can read David Postman’s take on it at Postman on Politics in a post entitled, David Irons condemns whistleblower “until eternity”

The election for King County Elections Director is an all mail in elction with ballots needing to be postmarked by Tuesday, Feb 3, 2009.

Note: Majority Rules Blog is urging voters to support the currently appointed King County Elections Director Sherril Huff who is also on the ballot. You can learn more about her by visiting her website at http://electsherrilhuff.com/.

BIAW Jumps in King County Elections Race

The right wing builder group, the BIAW, that has previously spent enormous amounts of money trying to get its conservative candidates onto the Washington State Supreme Court, get Dino Rossi elected Governor and helped Rob McKenna in 2004 get elected, has just dumped $26,500 into Republican Pam Roach’s campaign for King County Elections Director, according to the Seattle Times.

Even so, she is far behind fellow Republican David Irons who according to PDC records has raised $115,536, of which $103,460 comes out of his personal pocket. Irons is spending some $75,489 on last minute mailings and automated robo calls.

Considering the Office pays $160,000 a year, the campaign spending is still luke warm.

Meanwhile Sherril Huff, the candidate backed by Democrats, has been slow on raising money. Latest reports show her having raised $21,236 and spent $46, 845.

One wonders where Ron Sims is and why he has not been helping more.. After all he is the King County Executive who appointed her to the position several years ago and in December worked to get other Democratic candidates, like Jason Osgood who ran for Secretary of State in Nov. and Port Commissioner Lloyd Hara, to exit the race. They had more name recognition than Huff.

One would have assumed Ron Sims would have made a stronger commitment to raise money for the candidate he supported because the name Sherril Huff is not exactly a household word. Sure she is technically the “incumbent” and comes highly recommended, getting 35 of the state’s 39 county auditors to endorse her but this race is such a sleeper that one of the two Republican candidates might win this race just by turning out hard core Republican votes based on residual name recognition alone.

The economy of course is terrible, so deep pockets like David Irons has and special interest money like the BIAW is spending, are working the Republican side of this election. The Democrats are doing grassroots efforts but you have to wonder why more money is not flowing into Huff’s campaign.. She has raised the most money from individuals but this is after all a county wide race, not a legislative district race and being the only viable Democratic supported candidate you would expect more support.

This little gem of a special election devised by Republican operatives with no primary is so far seeing only 10% of the ballots for this all mail election being sent back to King County Elections. A low turnout election can be unpredictable but with such a low turnout Irons’ willingness to commit his own money is significant as is the BIAW’s smelling the possibility of a Republican win for this seemingly nonpartisan race.

Democrats better get busy this weekend spreading the word to their family, friends and neighbors to vote for Huff. And of course money can help pay the bills so people who want to see the professional elections person win, not a right wing Republican, should contribute now to Sherril Huff at her website electsherrilhuff.com

Vote for Sherril Huff for Elections Director

Sherril Huff is the current Elections Director for King County, having been appointed to the Office several years ago by King County Executive Ron Sims. Her tenure at King County Elections has seen a clean election process and numerous reforms. She deserves to be returned to the Office as the first elected Director of Elections in King County.

Last November voters approved a Republican sponsored initiative to make the Office an elected position, like it is in the other counties in the state. In other counties the Elections Office is run by an elected County Auditor. Sherril Huff has been endorsed by Auditors in 35 of Washington State’s 39 counties.

You can visit Sherril Huff’s website here.

But as important as this office is and the need to have a competent person with election experience run the office, the special election is currently only seeing 10% of the registered voters returning their ballot. The deadline for this all mail in ballot to be returned in next Tuesday, February 3, 2009. Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday or turned in to special drop boxes around the county on Tuesday.

Here is what some other people and organizations have to say about Sherril Huff and the other candidates:

Seattle Times 1/21/2009

“…she oversaw consolidation of three dispersed election facilities to one location and implemented important electronic security measures. Huff is credited with cleaning up the operation and dramatically improving organizational and cultural climate in elections.

The proof was in the latest election. King County produced a much smoother election in 2008 than it did in 2004 and Huff gets a lot of credit. Secretary of State Sam Reed has publicly complimented the county’s noticeable improvements. He did not endorse in the race but is very impressed with Huff’s work.”

FUSE : see Progressive Voters Guide here

“Sherril Huff has been highly regarded for her work managing the county’s 1.1 million voters since King County Executive Ron Sims appointed her in 2007. Of the five candidates vying for her office, Huff stands out for her experience and non-partisanship. She has helped the county institute more than 300 reforms in response to the 2004 county elections debacle and has helped conduct 21 successful elections since then.

A two-term county auditor, she has been endorsed by just about every county auditor in the state.Huff has been rated Outstanding by the Municipal League of King County, and has been endorsed by Washington Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, Fuse Washington, SEIU Healthcare 775 NW, UFCW Local 21 and 35 Washington County Auditors (both Republicans and Democrats).”

environmental community:

“As a political organization Washington Conservation Voters is mindful of having sound election systems and processes that encourage voter participation,” said Sudha Nandagopal, a spokesperson for Washington Conservation Voters. “Sherril Huff has unparalleled experience in overseeing elections. We need someone who will continue running smooth elections for King County and push for accuracy and innovations to ensure a fair, open election.”

“The Sierra Club recognizes the important role that the Elections Director plays in ensuring fair King County elections. Sherril Huff knows exactly what it takes to run a high performing elections office,” said Scott Otterson, Political Chair for the Sierra Club Cascade Chapter. “As the county transitions to all-mail voting, it’s critical that Sherril Huff retains her current position and continues to pioneer and push for high standards.” November general election.”

NorthWest Progressive Institute Advocate:

“King County Elections has come a long way since the 2004 gubernatorial recount exposed a slew of problems. Under Huff’s leadership, the department has moved into a centrally located secure facility in Renton, the number of ballots with unmatched signatures in recent elections has plummeted, and accountability has been vastly strengthened. Huff’s calm demeanor has been readily evident in all the major debates that have been held so far.”

Peace Tree Farm :

“Sherril Huff is, in essence, the incumbent in the race. She was named Director of Elections a couple of years ago when it was (properly, IMHO) an appointed position. As Director of Elections, she has coordinated King County’s efficient and entirely uncontroversial elections ever since. In fact, as I noted a few weeks ago, King County was, amazingly, the second county in the state to report its final counts in the November general election.”

the Stranger:

“Why should you vote for Sherril Huff? Well, consider the competition. It includes: Chris Clifford, a Republican schoolteacher from Renton who’s also leading the effort to recall port commissioner Pat Davis; former Republican King County Council member—and emerging crank candidate—David Irons, who allegedly beat his own mother; disgraced former elections director Julie Anne Kempf, who was fired after she allegedly mailed ballots out late and lied about it; Pam Roach, a gun-totin’ Republican state senator with a vendetta against the King County Council and a violent passion for flowers; and Bill Anderson, a former bank manager who says he’s qualified to count votes because “votes are like checks,” but otherwise seems harmless enough.

Huff, in contrast, is competent, sane, and highly qualified. As elections director, she’s overseen steady improvement at an elections office whose incompetence was at the center of a Republican challenge to Governor Christine Gregoire’s win in 2004. She shouldn’t have to run for her job, but she deserves to keep it.”

You can check out all the candidates yourself by visiting the on line voters pamphlet put out by King County Elections

Municipal League Gives Sherril Huff and David Irons Highest Rating for King County Director of Elections

The Municipal League of King County released their ratings today for the 6 candidates running for King County Director of Elections. As the result of voters last November passing I-25, King County voters will be voting for the first time for an elected Director of Elections in a special election on Feb 3, 2009.

Here are the ratings in alphabetical order:

Bill Anderson – Very Good
Chris Clifford – Adequate
Sherril Huff – Outstanding
David Irons – Outstanding
Julie Kempf – Adequate
Pam Roach – Adequate

You can read the questionnaires submitted to the King County Municipal League by each of the candidates by clicking on the link. You can also get links to the candidates websites.

You can get statements by each of the candidates as they were recorded in the King County Video Voters Guide by clicking on the link.

The election will be the first all mail election for King County voters. There will be no primary, so whoever gets the most votes in the Feb 3, 2009 election will be the winner.

This poorly designed process that was put on the ballot as the result of a paid signature campaign by Republicans is a rush job that does not best serve the voters. The lack of a primary in particular allows a candidate with less than 50% of the vote to win if votes are more or less split among 6 candidates.

So far very little money has been reported as being raised for this race by the candidates. As of today on the PDC website for this race Sherril Huff has reported raising $3500 and Pam Roach $3200. None of the other 4 candidates have reported raising anything and Chris Clifford has not even filed with the PDC as running.

The Municipal League is having 2 candidate forums for the King County Director of Elections race.

King County Elections Director Candidate Forum
Nordic Heritage Museum
3014 NW 67th St. NW, Seattle
Tuesday January 13th 7-8:30 p.m.

King County Elections Director Candidate Forum
The Golf Club at Newcastle
15500 Six Penny Lane
Newcastle, WA
Sat. Jan 17th, 9 AM – 11 AM

Six Candidates File for King County Director of Elections

According to the King County Elections website 6 candidates have filed for the Special Election for King County Elections Director to be held on Feb. 3, 2009. The filing period ended today.

Sherril Huff, the current appointed Elections Director, held a press conference on Tues. to announce her candidacy for the seat. King County Executive Ron Sims, who appointed Huff to her position, also attended the press conference and gave his support to her candidacy. Huff has run King County Elections for the past two years without any major problems and obviously has the experience and qualifications to continue to do a good job.

It was reported that Ron Sims met with some of the other candidates having a Democratic background and urged them not to file so that the Democratic vote would not be split, giving the election to a conservative Republican. Some of the better known Democrats who considered the race but did not file as a result included, Jason Osgood, who ran unsuccessfully for Secretary of State this year, Lloyd Hara, a current Seattle Port Commissioner and Ellen Hansen who ran the Election Dept many years ago when Randy Revelle was the county executive.

Unfortunately the Republicans who wrote the initiative to make the county elections director an elected office set up the first election without a Primary, giving whoever gets the most votes on Feb 3rd the office. With votes split 6 ways, someone could win with 25% of the vote or less. The election will be an all mail in election.

Two conservative conservative Republicans are running. Both have no real experience in running elections. They are David Irons, a former Republican County Council member who lost a race for King County Executive and Republican State Senator Pam Roach from Auburn. Their strong Republican partisanship in the past make them unlikely to inspire any confidence that they could successfully run what is supposed to be a nonpartisan office and also avoid any hint of partisan bias.

What should be an election to appoint a qualified person to run the elections in King County unfortunately will probably turn into a conservative Republican battle for votes. It would be a mistake to elect anyone with a strong partisan bias to this office and expect that voters will have any confidence in how the office is run. Based on their past partisan activities both Irons and Roach should be avoided by the voters if they want this office to have any credibility.

Information on the candidates on the King County Elections website right now is very sparse:

Sherril Huff 10206 66TH AVE S SEATTLE, WA 98178

Julie Kempf PO BOX 30111 SEATTLE, WA 98113

Bill Anderson 4604 47TH ST SE AUBURN, WA 98092 wlanderson@qwest.net
(253) 887-7741

Christopher Clifford 2721 TALBOT RD S RENTON, WA 98055 chrisclifford@comcast.net
(425) 255-0447

David Irons 300 QUEEN ANNE AVE N #620 SEATTLE, WA 98109 david@ironsforelections.com (425) 443-6603

Pam Roach PO BOX 682 AUBURN, WA 98071 pamroach@aol.com
(253) 735-4210

Added on Sunday : You can fill in some additional blanks in what is happening by going to Will’s post at horsesass.org http://www.horsesass.org/?p=10966. There is a discussion there about the issue of Huff’s residency as well as discussion about another candidate Julie Kempf, a former Superintendent at the Elections Dept who was fired.

Jason Osgood Drops Out of Race for King County Elections Chief

Jason Osgood sent out a press release this evening announcing that he is withdrawing from the race for King County Director of Elections. Osgood just finished a grueling unsuccessful race this year for Washington State Secretary of State.

Osgood is endorsing Sherril Huff – the current head of King County Elections as the most qualified for the office.

A big concern is that with multiple candidates and no primary, the possible vote split will see a winner with only 20 to 30% of the votes cast.

The Republicans who put together the Initiative for this election did not do the voters in King County any favors by the quick election process and not having a Primary. Right now the race favors the candidate with the best name familiarity and/or the best access to special interest money. This is the problem with making the office elected.

Below is the press release put out by Osgood earlier this evening:

December 9, 2008
*** For Immediate Release ***
Jason Osgood Supports Sherril Huff for King County Director of Elections

The following statement was issued today by Jason Osgood:

Sherril Huff today announced her intention to run as a candidate in the February 3rd special election scheduled to fill the position of King County Director of Elections. Huff is currently the appointed head of the department and is now the most experienced and best qualified candidate seeking this position. Her exemplary performance in the November general election clearly demonstrated that Huff is the most logical choice in this race. I have therefore withdrawn my candidacy for King County Director of Elections, effective immediately, and am fully supporting the candidacy of Sherril Huff.

I had an opportunity to speak with Sherril Huff earlier today. After congratulating her, I reiterated my commitment to advocating for open source alternatives to current King County election systems of which I and others have been critical. Huff expressed a willingness to work together on achieving shared goals and advancing the cause of election integrity in King County. I am confident that in the months and years ahead we will all move forward together.

These last nine months have been an extraordinary experience, first as a candidate for Secretary of State, and recently as a candidate for King County Director of Elections. I am incredibly grateful for the amazing support I have received from so many citizens, activists and fellow Democrats. I have learned so much, met so many wonderful people, and had the time of my life. I have no regrets. Thank you all.