Opinion

PubliCola Picks Joe McDermott for King County Council, District 8

By PublicolaPicks October 25, 2010



State Sen. Joe McDermott is the clear choice in the race to fill the King County Council seat formerly occupied by now-King County Executive Dow Constantine.

In the senate, McDermott took up the fight for initiative reform last year, passing a bill to make signature gatherers register with the state (it was subsequently killed by Republicans in the House). He was also a vocal advocate for legislation that would have allowed local governments to criminalize killing or injuring a biker or pedestrian with an automobile (a PubliCola cause célèbre); he supported a state income tax; and he sponsored this year’s legislation overturning Tim Eyman’s initiative that required a two-thirds vote of the legislature to raise taxes (legislation that is now threatened by Eyman's Initiative 1053). McDermott, once a sleepy legislator, was all action last session.  This bodes well.

As a county council member, McDermott has pledged to support a 0.2-percent sales tax increase to pay for public safety and to do everything in his power to oppose Glacier Northwest’s gravel-mining operation on Maury Island—an ongoing battle in the 34th District. That's one reason he has the support of state Rep. Sharon Nelson, Constantine, and a long list of environmental groups as well as the King County Democrats. McDermott also received the highest possible ranking, "Outstanding," from the Municipal League of King County.

His opponent, Diana Toledo, is a former county animal-control manager who says she'll cut county salaries and create a truly "nonpartisan" county council.

To read all of our 60-plus PubliCola Picks, including our initial batch of 32 No Brainers, click here.
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