King County Executive and West Seattle resident Dow Constantine celebrated his birthday Nov. 15 at Kells Irish Pub downtown for his first re-election campaign fundraiser. He runs in 2013. Click on photo for SLIDESHOW.
SLIDESHOW: Dow Constantine celebrates 39th birthday, for 13th time, at Kells Irish Pub fundraiser
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King County Executive and West Seattle resident Dow Constantine celebrated his 39th birthday, for the thirteenth time, at Kells Irish Pub downtown for his first re-election campaign fundraiser Thursday night, Nov. 15. He runs in 2013.
While many think he is as youthful as ever, this "39 years of age" business is a running gag, and at his 39th birthday party last year in the Paramount Theater lobby he acknowledge hitting the half-century mark.
"I really appreciate everyone coming out for my birthday," Constantine told the West Seattle Herald. "You know, when you're in politics and you're an elected official there is really no life event that doesn't turn into a fundraising opportunity (...) I like coming here to Kells because back in 1984 or '85 I tended bar right behind the bar over there, saving money for law school. It's nice they welcomed me back. I always offer to jump in and hone my bar tending skills just in case I need that as a back-up after my next election."
In his speech he said, "We did the first of these (birthday parties) when I turned 40 in this room and it was that night that King County Councilmember Greg Nickels found out that he was going to be the mayor of the City of Seattle and consequently I found out that I was going to have a good shot at leaving the State Senate, moving to the King County Council (...) I want to thank Shirley, my parents John and Lois, my brother Blair, and one of my mates from youth, Johnny Dirks is here, West Seattle (High School) Class of 1980. I always want to thank Gina Topp from Newman Partners who helped make this all happen.
He thanked other officials in the audience including Attorney General-elect Bob Ferguson. That got a big applause.
Added Constantine, "We're rebuilding the South Park Bridge. We fixed the Howard Hanson Damn. We saved Maury Island. But more than that we put the county back on sound financial footing (...) There are some leaders of our labor unions from King County here tonight who have helped partner with us to preserve jobs and services and put us in a much better position going into the future. Thank you to all our county employees.
"We just passed Referendum-74 to provide equal rights for all Washingtonians, "he added, which also got a loud applause. "And I am so proud to announce today that on the 6th of December at 12:01 a.m. when that law goes into effect I will sit down at the County Administration Building and begin signing marriage licenses (...) with gay or straight couples showing up on that evening. It's going to be a party as well."
See the West Seattle article here about his Dec. 6 announcement.
An audience member then shouted, "And Referendum 502!" That referendum passed to legalize marijuana.
Constantine responded with a bit of humor, "502, yes. At 4:20 that afternoon we'll all be gathering."
He was referencing the popular cultural term "420" which is code for smoking marijuana.
He also thanked Krist Novoselic who helped him first get elected into the House of Representatives and helped persuade him to get into the race for County Executive. Novoselic is best known for being the bassist and co-founder of the grunge band Nirvana. He is currently board chair of the electoral reform organization FairVote, formerly the Center for Voting and Democracy.
Novoselic told the West Seattle Herald, "I started working with Dow in the mid 1990's when he was running for the Washington State House of Representatives and he was a great friend of the music community," he said. "Dow fought for freedom of expression so I stuck with him ever since."
"Hey, Happy birthday to Dow," said Ferguson when asked by the West Seattle Herald for a comment, adding, "When I joined the County Council I sat at the end of the dais next to Dow. We were the two new guys. He showed me the ropes. He's a great guy and a great county executive. It will be the smoothest relationship between a county executive and an attorney general the state's ever seen."
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