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Sherman speaks to Seattle Gay News
Sherman speaks to Seattle Gay News
Candidate for Prosecuting Attorney to be tough on hate crimes

by Liz Meyer - SGN Staff Writer

In the tight race for King County Prosecuting Attorney, several local political pundits have claimed voters will have to choose between two equally qualified, outstanding candidates.

A poll posted on the KING 5 website on Oct. 17 presented the race for King County prosecutor as very tight. In it, SurveyUSA polled 520 likely voters in King County, and found Democratic candidate Bill Sherman had a 6% edge over his Republican opponent, Dan Satterberg (the poll had a margin of error of 4.4%).

Sherman is hoping, then, with Election Day just a week away, that his latest endorsements will help him solidify that slight edge he has over Satterberg. Satterberg became the interim King County prosecutor after Norm Maleng, who had been in office for twenty-eight years, died suddenly this May.

In recent weeks, Sherman has received an endorsement from heavyweights, including The Seattle P-I. The candidate also has been endorsed by several LGBT-specific groups and individuals, a fact he said was very meaningful to him.

"I'm really pleased to have the support of leaders in the LGBT community," Sherman, the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for King County, told the Seattle Gay News this week. "From Bill Dubay, to Sen. Ed Murray to Rep. Jamie Pedersen, I'm really pleased with a huge outpouring of support from the LGBT community. It means an awful lot to me."

Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark, an out Lesbian, is also listed as having endorsed Sherman on his election website.

Sherman, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for a state House seat from the 43rd District in 2006, mentioned that having the support of his one-time political opponents also felt like a political triumph. Rep. Jamie Pedersen, who beat him out for the position of 43rd District Representative, has now ?endorsed Sherman.

"I think that having Jamie's support means a lot because he and I spent an awful lot of time on the campaign trail together," said Sherman. "I think he knows my values, and he knows how much these issues mean to me. I think it says a lot that although we were on opposite sides of the 43rd district race, he supports me and is supporting my candidacy."

The SGN spoke with Sherman about his candidacy.

On endorsements this campaign:

"I'm really pleased to have the support of leaders in the LGBT community. From Bill Dubay, to Sen. Ed Murray to Rep. Jamie Pedersen, to Ellen Ferguson, I'm really pleased with a huge outpouring of support from the LGBT community. It means an awful lot to me. It says a lot about my dedication to running a fair workplace and also making sure that public safety issues are addressing LGBT concerns."

"I think that having Jamie's support means a lot because he and I spent an awful lot of time on the campaign trail together. I think he knows my values, and he knows how much these issues mean to me. I think it says a lot that although we were on opposite sides of the 43rd district race, he supports me and is supporting my candidacy."

On how his office would handle oddball cases, like the Federal Way woman who registered her dog to vote last year: "I think that the way the office handled that was appropriate. That woman seemed to have done that as an act of civil disobedience, she had a point to make. And I think the office handled that appropriately."

[King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg and the woman came to a deal that allowed her to avoid a criminal conviction for registering the dog as a voter.]

On prosecuting hate crimes:

"I want to make sure that the King County Prosecutor's Office is working with law enforcement agencies to track trends, to track trouble spots and to make sure that intelligence is being gathered. For example, as we see now a larger number of attacks on the Capitol Hill area, there seems to be some gang activity, and we need to make sure that we're tracking that in order not just to prosecute successfully, but to prevent successfully. I do think the Prosecutor's Office has a role in that, and I'm looking forward to being a part of that."

On his environmental record:

"I've been working on environmental protection issues for 17 years now. From my work right out of college, working for the EPA and my time in the Clinton administration working for the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, to my service on board of the King County Washington Conservation Voters. The environmental crimes task force is not a new idea. It's new here in King County. Other places, like L.A. for example. The prosecutor's office has not historically taken a leadership role in going about protecting our natural resources. I think it's time that we step up and join other major metropolitan prosecutor's offices in saying this is a priority for us. We're talking about situations for example involving the dumping of hazardous materials, the dredging and destruction of habitat, the improper disposal of asbestos at construction sites that can harm both the general public and the workers. This is a really serious issue, and I think my opponent's position has been that the prosecutor's office should not take a leadership role when we hear about environmental crimes, but should wait for the phone to ring. Other jurisdictions have taken the lead on this, and I would like to see us join those other jurisdictions."
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photos by Joey - SGN photographer

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