Vote Mitchell | Editorial

The Mercer Island Reporter endorses Islander Richard Mitchell for Pos. 6 on the King County Council over incumbent Jane Hague.

Hague has been on the Council since 1993. Despite her service, there have been some major blunders that have been well documented. They include being arrested for drunken driving when she also verbally abused police officers. Her resume said that she had held a college degree when in fact, she did not — an “error” from 1986 that was left uncorrected until 2007. She then blamed the error on her staff. Her campaign paid an $8,000 fine for finance and disclosure violations in the last election.

But how quickly we forget.

The Seattle Times, which first endorsed Mitchell over Hague in the primary, reversed their position last week, saying in part that Mitchell’s campaign was too far to the left — saying that he might be “too blue for the purple Eastside” (huh?), and his campaign literature was “nasty.”

A review of Mitchell’s background and accomplishments is instructive. He graduated from Cornell University with honors in architecture, where he met Henry Louis Gates, whom he counts as a mentor and friend. He earned a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. He holds a law degree from Syracuse University.

He is an attorney with a Seattle law firm where he leads the multi-disciplinary real estate, land use, environmental, design and construction law group. For four years, he held the position of Legal Counsel for Governor Chris Gregoire.

In 2009, he was the recipient of the Washington State Bar Association’s Professionalism Award. At the beginning of this election season, the highly respected Municipal League of King County rated Mitchell “outstanding,” while Hague, despite her years on the Council, received a “good” rating.

We believe that the right candidate should be elected regardless of who endorses them or how much money they raised. We want to know if they are qualified and honest.

We like what Mitchell told us when we first met him. “Now that state funding for many things is gone, it becomes up to us to reset the priorities of government.” But, he noted, it is not just up to him. He said his first task is “to see what the priorities are of the constituents of the sixth district.”


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