Denis Law running unopposed for second term as Renton mayor

Mayor Denis Law will keep his job for a second term, after no one opted to run against him in this year's election. Filing for the all-mail primary and general elections in King County was last week, drawing about 500 candidates countywide. The primary election is Aug. 16; the general election is Nov. 8. Also running unopposed for a third term on the Renton City Council is Marcie Palmer.

Mayor Denis Law

Mayor Denis Law will keep his job for a second term, after no one opted to run against him in this year’s election.

Filing for the all-mail primary and general elections in King County was last week, drawing about 500 candidates countywide. The primary election is Aug. 16; the general election is Nov. 8.

Also running unopposed for a third term on the Renton City Council is Marcie Palmer.

Two City Council members will have an opponent. Phyllis Forister, who has been outspoken about moving the downtown library, will run against council member Don Persson. First-term council member Greg Taylor also will have an opponent, Sarah Sanoy-Wright.

Three candidates have filed to replace council member King Parker, who has decided not to seek a fourth term. The three are Mark Martinez, Ed Prince and Robin H. Jones. Jones ran against Law in 2003, when Law was elected to the City Council.

Relatively quickly after filing began, five candidates emerged to replace Don Jacobson on the Board of Commissioners for Public Hospital District No. 1, which owns Valley Medical Center. The candidates are Mary Alice Heuschel, Chris Clifford, Jim Grossnickle, Paul Joos and Michele Fisher.

As a longtime newspaper publisher, Law said he always advocated for giving people a choice in who to elect for their leaders. But politics has changed.

“Politics has gotten to the point that it is kind of thankless and the challenges so daunting that a lot of people don’t want to venture into that,” he said Monday.

Also, there are candidates running on a single issue or a special interest,  he said. “I don’t see where that serves a purpose,” he said.

Law has raised some money for the election and has hired a campaign manager.

Even though he won’t have someone to run against, Law will still “go to a lot of events. I will want to meet with the public,” he said.

Law said he wants to figure out a way to more effectively meet with the public on a regular basis “so we can have a better sense of how we are doing as a city” and so that people can discuss issues.

The crowded race to replace Don Jacobson on the hospital board comes as a strategic alliance between Valley Medical Center and UW Medicine has been formally approved.

Heuschel is superintendent of the Renton School District and has attended a number of board meetings where the strategic alliance was discussed. She had indicated in early February at one board meeting that she wished to serve as a commissioner.

Clifford of Renton has run for a number of elected positions in the city. His attempts two recall Jacobson in 2008 and commissioner Carolyn Parnell this year failed.

Grossnickle is a research scientist who lives in Newport Hills in the northern part of the hospital district. He ran unsuccessfully for the Renton School Board in 2009.

Joos is an ophthalmologist who founded the Valley Eye and Laser Center more than 30 years ago.

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