Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

King County Executive

Salary; $209,387Term: 4 yearsThe county executive shall be the chief executive officer of the county and shall have all the executive powers of the county which are not expressly vested in other specific elective officers by this charter; shall supervise all administrative offices and executive departments established by this charter or created by the county council; shall be the chief peace officer of the county and shall execute and enforce all ordinances and state statutes within the county; shall serve on all boards and commissions on which a county commissioner was required to serve prior to the adoption of this charter, but if more than one county commissioner was required to serve, the county council shall appoint a councilman or councilmen to serve on the board or commission with him; shall present to the county council an annual statement of the financial and governmental affairs of the county and any other report which he may deem necessary; shall prepare and present to the county council budgets and a budget message setting forth the programs which he proposes for the county during the next fiscal year; shall prepare and present to the county council comprehensive plans including capital improvement plans for the present and future development of the county; shall have the power to veto any ordinance adopted by the county council except as otherwise provided in this charter; shall have the power to assign duties to administrative offices and executive departments which are not specifically assigned by this charter or by ordinance; and shall sign, or cause to be signed, on behalf of the county all deeds, contracts and other instruments. The specific statement of particular executive powers shall not be construed as limiting the executive powers of the county executive
  • Candidate picture

    Dow Constantine (NP) King County Executive

  • Bill Hirt (NP)

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

What are the three most pressing issues facing King County in the next 5 years?

Of those issues, what is the single most critical issue facing King County, and as County Executive, what would you propose to positively affect that issue?

What changes would you make, if any, in King County's law enforcement leadership structure, training, equipping, oversight and accountability?

Do you think the proposed “Access for All: Arts-Science-Culture” sales tax is an equitable and appropriate funding mechanism? Why or why not? How can we improve our tax structure overall to ensure a fair and just system while collecting the revenue the county needs?

Tolls have been proposed as a means for mitigating congestion on many of the region’s roads, including on I-5 between Seattle and Tacoma. Do you believe that increasing the number of toll roads are an appropriate way of improving traffic congestion? Why or why not?

What is your definition of affordable housing and what policy or law changes would you propose to address the lack of affordable housing, particularly of housing stock that will accommodate working families (3-bedroom and up) in the region?

What do you believe are the root causes of the region’s increasing homelessness crisis, and what policies or programs would you propose to address this issue?

What went wrong at the West Point waste treatment plant, and what planning, management and investment changes does it suggest? Do we have our priorities right?

How do you feel about the safe injection sites proposed in King County? What other steps can we take to lessen the opioid and heroin addiction epidemic in our region?

Do you support Chris Hansen’s proposal to build a new basketball arena in the SoDo area, under the current proposal on the table which includes complete private funding and incorporates added dollars for the mitigation of freight mobility issues? Why or why not?

Phone (206) 937-3694
Town where you live Seattle, WA
Experience (300 characters max) King County Executive (2009-2017); King County Councilmember – 8th Dist. (2002-2009); State Senator – 34th LD (2000-2002); State Representative – 34th LD (1997-2000); University of Washington BA, MA Urban Planning, JD
1. Addressing Homelessness - Everyone in King County can see the rise of homelessness and we all feel concerned. This is not normal, not inevitable, and cannot be accepted. But compassion alone won’t reduce the number of people living on the streets. And it’s not just about investing more money, it’s about investing the right way. 2. Climate Action – Climate change is the paramount challenge of this century, and I have united our cities around aggressive impact reduction and response actions. Under my leadership, King County created one of the most ambitious climate action plans in the US. It provides a road map for the region to reduce carbon pollution, increase transit access, protect open spaces, and prepare for climate change impacts. 3. Improving Mobility - As the leader of Metro and the primary partner in Sound Transit, I have made transforming our region’s transportation and land use future a top priority. This includes my work leading the creation and passage of Sound Transit 3.
Climate change is certainly our greatest global challenge, and that compels us to do all we can locally to drive down emissions, prepare for impacts, and set an example for the rest of the country and world. We are doing all of that. However, the issue where we can make the most immediate and thorough impact is homelessness. King County has been a leader in addressing the myriad economic and social causes of homelessness, and in bringing data-driven policy making, accountability and continuous improvement practices to bear in advancing successful outcomes, including more people housed and half as many returning to homelessness. The dizzying complexity of the problem - the myriad factors and players - make this enormously difficult. But it starts with housing - keeping people in it, quickly getting people rehoused, making sure people are secure so that we can help them with their other challenges and get them back to self-sufficiency.
I see opportunities to improve law enforcement performance not just because it protects our officers and communities, but because it is fundamentally part of our Best Run Government continuous improvement practices. In training itself, we can work to have more dynamic scenarios so officers are more prepared, and have practiced being in complicated situations, such as those involving children. Additional anti-bias and on-going weapons training, not just with firearms, can ensure officers are trained with the latest, best practices. There is additional opportunity for evaluation and accountability in training and the programs themselves. We must also ensure we are using the latest technology, like Smart 911, to help manage things like prior contact history. Finally, as improve performance of our law enforcement systems, we must work to educate the public about risks and responsibilities officers face so we can ensure productive conversations on keeping our communities safe and healthy.
I believe that a sales tax is not the most equitable option, but unfortunately it was the only tool the legislature authorized for King County to fund Access for All and the tax impact is modest – $30 per average household. To stabilize budgeting in King County and statewide, I strongly support reforming the state’s tax system. The state’s tax system, and by extension the county’s, is horribly unfair to lower income and working people, and those struggling to build new, small businesses and create jobs. Instead, I believe our state’s revenue should be based on a state tax system that asks people to contribute, roughly, based on their ability to pay. There are a myriad of ways to achieve this.
Tolling, most basically, is demand management and I believe it is a tool we should be employing in our transportation system to improve efficiency. I have supported efforts to toll certain corridors and would support future tolling efforts. But demand management works best when it is system-wide, comprehensive, and equitable. Regarding equity, decisions to toll should be made in coordination with investments in transit, so people have alternatives to tolls. Similarly, depending on system type, there should be discounts for low income individuals who lack alternatives. System-wide tolling prevents unintended consequences such as diversion to other corridors, or cut through traffic that has disproportionate impacts on certain communities. We must also look at how we are utilizing all the tools available: transit, highway lanes, HOV lanes, arterials, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, water-borne crafts, and the tools that fund them, to bring the greatest efficiencies to the system.
To help people achieve their full potential, we must ensure that safe, affordable housing is accompanied by access to opportunity. We are the fastest growing metro region in the nation and the rapidly increasing cost of housing is a major issue. We are working to connect housing to opportunity through major investments in transit and workforce housing and making transit accessible and affordable for people with low-incomes. I have worked to dramatically increase funding to preserve affordable housing and create new units. Over the past 2 years alone, King County has created over 1,000 new affordable rental units in 15 projects, and through making our stellar credit rating available to the King County Housing Authority, they will be able to preserve or add another 2,200 units. I will continue striving to increase access to affordable housing in King County, to ensure that those who have built this region can afford to continue to participate in the life of our community.
I am committed to addressing the root causes of homelessness. To this end, King County opened 46 new inpatient mental health treatment beds and will open 46 more in 2017; and we opened a new methadone treatment facility in Renton, eliminating the wait list for treatment that had existed for years. Thanks to the Heroin and Opioid Task Force efforts, we have life-saving naloxone kits available through law enforcement and homeless providers, and we are improving access to other options such as buprenorphine treatment, working toward universal Treatment on Demand. In addition, I've helped us move to embrace a new model - enhanced shelter - that offers onsite case management, connections to training and employment, and other services, to provide both a safe place to sleep tonight and a clear path out of homelessness. I will continue to fight for support for these important programs.
West Point sustained severe damage on Feb. 9, 2017, when equipment failure and high flows led to flooding inside the plant. All critical systems and process units were repaired by April 27 and the treatment plant resumed compliance with its environmental permits on May 11. Insurance is paying for repairs. We launched an independent review to find improvements in equipment, training and maintenance. For more than 20 years, West Point achieved the highest national standards for wastewater treatment, and we are dedicated to fulfilling and surpassing our environmental protection goals for the next 20 years and beyond.
Opioid addiction is killing people in our community, sparing no age, race, sexual identity, income level or neighborhood. To begin dealing with this, I convened the Heroin and Opioid Task Force in 2016, who made 8 recommendations to confront this epidemic. To this end, I called for the creation of 2 safe consumption sites for drug users, in an effort to halt the surge of heroin and prescription opioid overdose deaths in King County. The sites will be stocked with naloxin, which reverses overdoses, and will save lives and connect people with the treatment they need to deal with their addiction. which found that addiction can be prevented through awareness and knowledge of the possible adverse effects of opioid use, safer storage and disposal of medications, and leveraging existing screening practices in schools and health care settings to prevent and identify opioid use disorder. King County is moving forward on all eight recommendations presented by the task force.
Yes. I just want the Sonics back in Seattle and a hockey team would be great as well.
1)Congestion on the area's roadways Sound Transit failure to recognize the only way to reduce congestion is to attract thousands more commuter to public transit by using ST3 funds to add thousands of parking spaces and bus routes rather than light rail tracks the vast majority of commuters will never be able to use. 2)The WSDOT willingness to go along with Sound Transit's confiscation of the I-90 Bridge center roadway. It will inevitably lead to gridlock on bridge outer roadways that the WSDOT will use to justify their plans for HOT fares on HOV lanes. Something they've planned since 2007. 3) The failure of the Seattle Times to warn the area about Sound Transit and WSDOT connivence
I would direct Sound Transit to divert ST3 funds from funding light rail extensions to adding 10,000 parking spaces each year for the next 5 or more years with connecting bus routes along the area's major roadways.
No. Sales taxes are too regressive. I think the county needs to do a better job of spending the revenue they are currently collecting
Tolls will only work to reduce congestion when commuters have another alternative. Most don't. The WSDOT attempts to "manage congestion" by making it more difficult to carpool in order to impose HOT tolls has done nothing to reduce on congestion on I-405. Their plans to require +3HOV with HOT on a 2nd lane between Bellevue and Renton will do absolutely nothing to ease congestion for the vast majority of commuters forced to use existing GP lanes
One of the factors driving Seattle housing prices is the problem with trying to commute into the city. Providing those who live in outside Seattle with the option of using P&R stalls near where they live with access to bus routes into Seattle would decrease the "housing premium" for those working in Seattle.
One of the reasons for the increasing homelessness in the area is the fact the increasing benefits tends to attract more homeless. One way to mitigate that would be require those able to do so work 20 to 40 hours a week for the parks department or some other city organization.
Don't know
I believe safe injection sites will simply attract more drug problems
No. The Seattle basketball arena should be in the renovated arena the Sonics played. logo


All statements and videos are posted directly by the candidate, unedited by the League of Women Voters and do not express the views of the League. The League never supports or opposes candidates or political parties.