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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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December 11, 2007 2:06 PM

Rocker turned writer's advice for Dem turned Repub

Posted by David Postman

Krist Novoselic, the Weekly's nice get of a political and music blogger, has an idea for King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer. von Reichbauer is a former Democrat, now Republican, who said in a Times story last week that he wants to make the county council, executive and assessor all non-partisan races.

The Times said that Pete Von Reichbauer doesn't want to wear either party's label when he runs for reelection. If that's the case, he should run as an independent!

Instead of a useless change of the election system for King County, an independent candidacy can actually foster competition. In a three-way race, a candidate needs only 34% of the vote to get elected in the general. This lower threshold is a reasonable expectation for an experienced public servant like Mr. Reichbauer.

From a partisan perspective, increasing competition isn't necessarily better. If Pete Von Reichbauer ran as an Independent, Republicans would still have to run a candidate to protect what has traditionally been their district. Recognizing an opening, Democrats would run their candidate in prospect of the conservative vote diluting between the former Republican Independent and the proper Republican candidate. Considering the Republican's current ebb, another loss on the eastside of King County, to either an Independent Reichbauer or Democrat, would not look good.

Novoselic also has a nice slice of history in this post about the Washington Grange's progressive roots.

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