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June 14, 2006

Republican olive branch on county elections?

Posted by David Postman at 5:22 PM

Tuesday's news that Dean Logan was resigning as King County elections chief brought calls to party, paeans to Logan, and reprimands for the "partisan extremists," "unscrupulous people" and "unhinged partisan critics" blamed for Logan's departure.

But lost among all that, at least in my in-box, was a call for a truce in King County's election wars. Michael Young, chairman of the King County Republican Party, issued a statement Tuesday night not only congratulating Logan and wishing him well — with sincerity I think — but said the county's problems can't all be laid at Logan's feet.

"Many of those problems in the Department of Records, Elections and Licensing existed before Dean Logan arrived, and remain today. But his departure offers the citizens of King County a unique opportunity to resolve the one issue that has divided us so bitterly. ...

"I call upon the leadership of the Democratic Party to work together with the KCGOP and all interested groups and citizens, to set aside our partisan differences and help HEAL our community by working in a bipartisan manner on these issues."

I just talked briefly with Young. He said Logan's departure "provides an opportunity for a fresh start" and thinks that at least some Republicans on the council agree and are ready to set aside some of the harsh rhetoric that has been heard for two years.

It is true that Logan's departure may take care of one big problem, or at least put it off, now that county-wide vote-by-mail looks unlikely by next year. That's got to help. And there may be Republicans on the council ready to move on. But the conservatives' No. 1 voice on the issue of elections clearly is not.

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