The councilman, a Democrat, said in a news release announcing his campaign that he’s lined up support from several local politicians, including Democratic King County Executive Dow Constantine.
Ferguson pledges to bring a nonpartisan approach to the state attorney general’s office if elected in 2012.
Ferguson and any other candidates may vie for an open seat. The Republican incumbent, Rob McKenna, is expected to throw his hat in the ring for governor.
Full news release:
King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson to Run for State Attorney General
4th Generation Washingtonian and Law and Justice Leader will focus on public safety, consumer protection, the environment, and veterans.
SEATTLE— King County Council Law and Justice Chair Bob Ferguson, a reformer and advocate for children, families, and veterans, will run for the office of Attorney General in 2012. Ferguson, a Democrat, will build a tough-minded Attorney General’s office, prioritizing public safety, consumer protection, the environment, government transparency, and veterans.
“The Attorney General must be the leading legal advocate for the people of Washington,” said Ferguson. “I am running to redouble our commitment to consumer protection during this recession, increase our efforts to protect this environment, keep our citizens safe, and be an advocate for our veterans.”
Ferguson, selected unanimously in 2010 to chair the newly non-partisan County Council, pledged to bring objective, non-partisan leadership to the office of Attorney General. As Chair, he oversaw the administration of 150 Legislative Branch employees.
“Republicans and Democrats alike can expect the same high level of representation and integrity,” said Ferguson. “The Attorney General’s office is no place for political grandstanding. Our citizens expect fairness and objectivity when it comes to interpreting and implementing laws.”
Leaders in the legal community have already rallied to support Ferguson’s campaign, including former Washington Supreme Court Justice Bobbe Bridge and Gerry Johnson, a past managing partner at K&L Gates where Ferguson practiced law in the firm’s litigation group from 1997 to 2002.
Other early endorsers include House Judiciary Chair and Lambda Legal Board member Jamie Pedersen (D-43), longtime civil rights attorney Lem Howell, State Representative and consumer protection attorney David Frockt (D-46), State Representative Ruth Kagi (D-32), King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Council Chair Larry Gossett, former Governor Mike Lowry, and many more.
Ferguson began his legal career in Spokane after receiving his law degree from New York University. He clerked for Chief Judge W. Fremming Nielsen of the Federal District Court for Eastern Washington (appointed by George H. W. Bush) and later for Judge Myron Bright of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (appointed by Lyndon Johnson).
At Preston, Gates, and Ellis (now K&L Gates), Ferguson worked as a litigator representing individuals, businesses, local governments, and Washington corporations. Ferguson is a member of the Washington State Bar.
Ferguson has deep roots in Washington State. His great-grandparents homesteaded along the Skagit River near what is now Marblemount. His grandparents owned the local meat market in Everett.
Ferguson’s parents graduated from Everett High School and later moved to Seattle. His mother taught special education in Seattle’s public schools and his father worked at Boeing. Bob is one of seven children and he and his wife, Colleen, have toddler twins, Jack and Katie.
Ferguson was elected to the King County Council as a reformer and earned a reputation as a tireless grass-roots campaigner. He took on a 20-year incumbent and knocked on more than 20,000 doors to meet voters and listen to their concerns. By beginning his campaign now for 2012, he will be able to continue his emphasis on grass-roots outreach.
“I’m excited to visit communities and meet with voters across Washington,” said Ferguson. “For me, the best part of public service is working directly with people—listening, learning, and taking action to solve problems. I am excited for the long road ahead.”
On the Council, Ferguson is a leader on criminal justice, government reform, environmental protection, and veterans’ issues.
Public Safety and Criminal Justice:
· He is reforming the county’s pretrial release process to prevent the release of convicted felons charged with repeat offenses.
· He established the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight.
· He has spearheaded efforts to reduce recidivism, lower criminal justice costs, and improve lives by increasing access to mental health and chemical dependency treatment services.
Government Reform and Transparency:
· He wrote the law that reformed the county’s public records process to ensure that citizens can easily obtain records and monitor their government.
· He led the effort to improve the King County’s Elections Office after the contentious 2004 election.
· Bob partnered with his Republican colleague to establish wage reform that linked county workers’ wages with current economic conditions.
· As Budget Committee Chair, he produced a balanced budget that maintained the County’s AAA bond rating—the highest in the state.
Protecting the Environment:
· He led the effort to preserve 100,000 acres of open space through the Open Space Preservation Act.
· He expanded the county’s Green Building Initiative to require sustainable business practices in all county projects.
· He spearheaded the effort to pass the Veterans and Human Services Levy, which voters overwhelmingly approved in 2005. The Levy generates more than $13 million a year for veterans and families in need. He is leading the effort to renew the Veterans Levy in 2011.
· He expanded legal aid for veterans and is working to establish a specialized Veterans Court to connect veterans to supportive services.
Ferguson represents King County District 1 which includes the communities of Bothell, Kenmore, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, North Seattle, and parts of Woodinville and unincorporated King County.
Ferguson has received national recognition for his leadership. He was selected to join the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship, a prestigious program that brings together the nation’s most promising political leaders. Each year, 24 elected officials—12 Democrats and 12 Republicans—are selected for their “reputations for intellect, thoughtfulness, and commitment to civil dialogue.”
To learn more about Bob Ferguson and his campaign for Attorney General visit www.electbobferguson.com
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