State lands commissioner Doug Sutherland’s re-election bid is blessed by no less than “the Father of Washington Conservation.”
At least that’s the sobriquet bestowed upon Jim Ellis, who will be the main speaker at Sutherland’s campaign kickoff event on May 21 at the Hilton Bellevue.
The honorific is not much of an exaggeration. Here’s a description from the History Link website:
A retired municipal bond lawyer, James R. Ellis has never held public office, never headed a major corporation, and never been rich. Yet he has left a bigger footprint on Seattle and King County than perhaps any other single individual, as a citizen activist for more than half a century.
He was a leader in the campaigns to clean up Lake Washington in the 1950s; to finance mass transit, parks, pools, and other public facilities through “Forward Thrust” bonds in the 1960s; to preserve farmlands in the 1970s; to build and later expand the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in the 1980s, and to establish the Mountains to Sound Greenway along the I-90 corridor in the 1990s.
Not a bad endorsement to bag for Sutherland’s bid for a third term managing the state’s public lands and shorelines. King County Councilmembers, Jane Hague and Reagan Dunn, both Republicans (as is Sutherland) are the official hosts. Details here.
Sutherland is a former Tacoma mayor and Pierce County executive. His principal opponent will be Okanagan County rancher and environmentalist Peter Goldmark, a Democrat.