Unlike most elections, we have an excellent choice of candidates in the King County Executive race. A strongly pro-transit voter could feel good about supporting a few different candidates if the voter felt strongly about some other aspect of the candidate’s platform or personality.
Nevertheless, we’ve chartered ourselves to consider the transit and land use portfolio of the candidates, and in our judgment Dow Constantine and Larry Phillips are the best of the group. Each candidate deserves your consideration.
Phillips and Constantine have been steadfast supporters of Sound Transit. Although there’s no immediate political action on Sound Transit on the horizon, we should see the groundwork for the Sound Transit 3 package form over the coming years. Further, it’s reasonable to expect some sort of crisis in the next few. In that event, we want an uncompromising friend of ST in the critical County Executive spot.
On Metro, Phillips has presented the most detailed plan to address Metro’s funding gap, though it is much the same as every credible plan to fix Metro’s problems. Constantine is deeply involved in addressing the Metro crisis through his chairmanship of the Regional Transit Committee. Constantine and Phillips have equally good judgment and candor to address Metro’s budget.
Both candidates represent Seattle on the King County Council and understand that cutting the highest demand routes makes no sense. Constantine received a degree in Urban Planning from UW and shows unique honesty when he says that Eastside commuter rail along the BNSF corridor is not going to happen. Phillips has a well-organized, strong campaign and when he met with us it became clear that he’s a true transit wonk.
Though he doesn’t haven’t as solid of a pro-Sound Transit record as his peers, Ross Hunter has very interesting ideas about tying bus service to density and has been critical in getting more funding authority for Metro in the legislature.
Nevertheless, we’re more impressed by Constantine and Phillips’s credentials than the others. Vote Dow Constantine or Larry Phillips for King County Executive. We hoped to endorse a single candidate, but the differences on transit between the two are simply too insignificant to make a meaningful distinction.
Our editorial board is Martin H. Duke, Ben Schiendelman, and John Jensen, with valued input from the rest of the staff. Read our Seattle City Council endorsements.