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April 14, 2009 4:53 PM

Dow Constantine, the grunge candidate for county executive?

Posted by Keith Ervin

King County executive candidate Dow Constantine is putting some celebrity pizzazz into his campaign, Seattle style.

Some of the city's legendary alternative-rock musicians - former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil and Presidents of the United States of America guitarist Dave Dederer - are among the hosts of next Thursday's fundraiser.

And where could such a gathering take place other the Crocodile in Belltown, where so many of Seattle's biggest acts got their start?

The Long Winters' singer John Roderick, singer Kristen Ward and DJ K-NOw are the announced entertainment. Who else might jam is anyone's guess.

"One of the things we learned from the Obama campaign last year is it is important to reach out to younger voters. That can pay off in tangible support," said campaign spokesman Sandeep Kaushik.

But how does a county councilman like Constantine - who looks like he was born in a suit and whose hair is never out of place - enjoy the support of rock musicians? It goes back to his days as a University of Washington law student, when he worked as a DJ at KCMU-FM, predecessor to KEXP, and began to meet musicians. He has known Novoselic for years.

The hosts of the event at the Croc - who include nightclub owners, a band manager and other music and arts promoters - say in their announcement that Constantine has "worked tirelessly" for years to preserve all-ages shows and protect nightspots from excessive regulations.

The Croc reopened last month after a 15-month closure.

What about another executive hopeful, County Councilmember Larry Phillips? He has some fundraisers coming up at area wineries, his campaign reports.

Also running to succeed Executive Ron Sims, who plans to resign to take a job in the Obama administration, are former KIRO-TV anchor Susan Hutchison; state Sen. Fred Jarrett, D-Mercer Island; and former consultant and project manager Alan Lobdell.

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