The King County Council just announced the appointment of Steve Strachan to replace Sue Rahr as King County Sheriff in a gushing email about what a swell cop he's been as police chief in Kent, Washington and Lakeville, Minnesota, where where he's also been a sergeant, detective, SWAT team leader, and DARE officer.
What the council didn't mention in its lengthy biography is that Strachan has also been a Republican legislator in Minnesota. There he used his platform to sponsor bills to increase the penalties for drug paraphernalia and give parents access to their child's medical records. And, as Publicola notes, he's sponsored anti-choice bills to impose "a 24-hour waiting period on women seeking abortions" and a "second bill barred state family planning grants from funding abortions or from referring women to agencies that do provide abortions."
Twice before, the county has appointed Republican politicians to this post: They gave the position to Dave Reichert, who is now in Congress, and his successor, Sue Rahr, who stumped for Susan Hutchison. So while it's true, we do have a new sheriff in town, we also have yet another appointed Republican politician.
UPDATE: The Seattle Times reports that Strachan says he has "evolved" on abortion issues, perhaps into the second trimester of his political career. "My personal opinion has evolved over time," he says. "I consider myself pro-choice." That's awfully nice—he still has a legislative track record that hews conservative and a resume as a GOP politician.