Council deadlocks on Constantine’s seat

After nearly seven hours of discussion and debate Monday, the King County Council deadlocked on whom to choose to replace Dow Constantine on the nine-member council.

The council had before it four nominees for the council seat, vacated when Constantine became County Executive. The four contenders — State Sen. Joe McDermott, State Rep. Sharon Nelson, State Rep. Zack Hudgins and Seattle City Councilmember Jan Drago — were selected from a pool of 11 applicants by a community advisory panel created by the council.

The position represents the council’s 8th district, which includes Vashon.

But in two different votes during the long, televised evening, the council deadlocked, according to council spokesman Al Sanders.

McDermott, who was in the chambers for the entire discussion, was the first candidate put forward. The council voted 4-4 on his nomination. Drago was then nominate, with another 4-4 split.

The council was recently made a nonpartisan body, but the votes fell according to the councilmembers’ previous party affiliations, Sanders said — with the Democrats voting for McDermott and the Republicans supporting Drago.

The council will reconvene Jan. 4, when the motion is expected to come before it again, Sanders said.

Councilmember Reagan Dunn, meanwhile, recommended that the advisory panel forward two more names to the council, an issue Council Chair Bob Ferguson will decide after conferring with other council members, Sanders added.

Ferguson told his fellow councilmembers he’s “optimistic” they’ll be able to decide in January.

“Sometimes in government and politics there are deadlocks,” he said.

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