Joe Nguyen Is Running for King County Executive



"Dipping from the Legislature?" Where do you get that from? Joe isn't giving up his safe seat in the Senate, and the Seattle Times confirms that.


It will be a race to see who can be more progressive.


@2 - I don't agree that a 'race to be more progressive' strategy will play out.

Constintine is biding his time as king County Executive waiting to run for Governor when Inslee finally retires, and he'll eventually need support from moderate voters - particularly in Pierce and Snohomish County - to beat a credible Republican opponent. For Dow, running as a 'progressive' jeopardizes all of that.

Constintine is also probably smart enough to know that he simply cannot credibly sell himself as 'more progressive' than Joe Nguyen. Their comparative records simply won't support it, and Constintine will just look like he's reacting to a threat rather than running on what is overall a pretty good record.

I would expect Constintine to run a campaing based on a 'responsible, experienced, don't-change-horses-midstream' theme, while Nguyen will be the 'time-for-a-change, breath-of-fresh-air' progressive.

The Democratic establishment will double down for Dow - he already bagged a bunch of endorsements from individuals and orgs who were never open-minded enough to even consider that someone else might run (which is the exact opposite of the 'progressive' mindset that many of them claim to espouse), and for whom 'electability' and electoral oddsmaking are top concerns. That will continue - no establishment figure or organization will have the courage to go against a previously endorsed candidate and likely future Governor to support a challenger... even if that challenger has values and articulates an agenda that's more progressive and better aligned to what they claim to embrace.


@2: “Constantine is biding his time as king County Executive waiting to run for Governor when Inslee finally retires, and he'll eventually need support from moderate voters - particularly in Pierce and Snohomish County - to beat a credible Republican opponent. For Dow, running as a 'progressive' jeopardizes all of that.”

Dow’s only credible opponent for Governor at this point is Bob Ferguson, who is anything but to the left of Dow. I can’t think of a single Republican at this point who has a snowball’s chance of winning the Governor’s seat, outside of someone like Jaime Herrera Beutler or Dan Newhouse, and they still only get 45%.


Whoops, I meant NoSpin @3....


@4: Nobody, but nobody, will beat Bob Ferguson in any statewide race. He has won statewide three times already, and has campaigned in every corner of the state. Bob campaigns like a cornered rat. Dow couldn't beat him if he called in the 101st Airborne.

The only elected official I know of who even approaches Bob as an effective campaigner is Joe Nguyen. Make of that what you will.


@1 - Hey Ivan, if he wins Exec, he would be "dipping" from the State Senate. I'm pretty sure that's what Rich meant.


Either Nguyen or Constantine would be perfectly good as King County Exec.
Since Inslee wants to be Governor-for-life, and if Dow wants to "move up" why not run for Senate?
Then again, if Murray wins a couple more Senate terns, she'll be as old as Strom once was --"Hey, there little lady."


@6: Bob Ferguson's strategy of "fame through litigation" quest for higher office is dubious.


6: Agreed, the Governor’s Mansion is Ferguson’s, barring some horrible revelation about him, which I think is highly unlikely.


I had to chuckle at all the Democratic office holders who've already endorsed Dow. That's the Democratic Party machine at work: lots of mutual back-scratching and totally ignoring their bench~ the up-and-comers who should at least be considered, especially vs. incumbents who've been there forever.


@4 Hilary Franz will also likely run for governor when the seat is open. That could lead to Dow "settling" for Attorney General instead, or to three qualified Democrats running for Governor at the same time.

@10 I wouldn't describe it as a vague "Democratic Party machine." It's the result of a bottleneck created by the three mediocre and selfish individuals in our states' top offices: Jay Inslee, Patty Murray, and Maria Cantwell. The folks below them feel obligated to hold on to their own offices to stay relevant for when Governor or US Senator is an open seat.


@10 - it’s not just Democratic office-holders; labor unions and progressive non-profits with PACs who endorse and support candidates play the same game. It’s how even mediocre long-time incumbents maintain their base, and why credible same-party challengers to those incumbents are so rare.


@11 -- calling either Inslee or Murray mediocre is complete nonsense. Murray is an extremely effective and powerful Senator and frankly irreplaceable asset to the state. Inslee was one of the best leaders in the country when it came to the COVID crisis and helped our state fare far better than other places. You don't crush all comers like the two of them have -- particularly Inslee winning a third term, an incredibly tough thing to do -- without knowing what you're doing. Cantwell, well, maybe so.

The problem for Nguyen is that 2/3rds of the population of King County lives outside of Seattle and everybody that lives in Seattle likes to pretend it's the other way around. What wins in Seattle isn't going to beat Constantine in the rest of the county where most of the population lives.

Franz is also a shrewd and underrated politician, but I don't see her (or anybody else) winning a race for governor against Ferguson. Franz should run for Senate when Murray retires.


@13 Patty Murray and Jay Inslee are the definition of mediocre. Other than expanding the child tax credit in the American Rescue Plan (which is great!), Murray does not often leverage the power that comes with her seniority. She does not make public appearances that are accessible to constituents, she has no position on the Green New Deal or Medicare for All, and she goes on the Senate floor with the Boeing letterhead still on her speeches. She needs to retire, as there's a giant backlog of talent who would better serve our state.

It was not "incredibly tough" for Inslee to win last year against completely unqualified competition. He ticked a lot of people off when he made the selfish decision to break with precedent and run for a third term, and he didn't accomplish many of his priorities in his first two terms. He has handled the COVID crisis well but he has been lackluster on other fronts.