Photos by Steve Shay
King County Executive Dow Constantine, right, is pictured with his father, John. Both are West Seattle residents. Dow appeared at the Hall of Fauntleroy, also in West Seattle, for his 2013 campaign kickoff Thursday night, March 14.

SLIDESHOW: Supporters applaud KC Exec. Dow Constantine at his re-election campaign kickoff

King County Executive and West Seattle resident Dow Constantine kicked off his 2013 re-election campaign Thursday night, March 14, at the Hall of Fauntleroy in West Seattle.

Introducing him were King County Councilmembers Larry Gossett, & Joe McDermott, who lives in West Seattle. Supporters present included Dow's father and mother, John and Lois, and Dow's brother Blair, all of West Seattle.

Other politicians present were State Senator and Senator Majority Leader Ed Murray, new Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire, the former governor's daughter, King County Sheriff John Urquhart, King County Assessor Lloyd Hara.

Also there, Tim Nuse, 34th District Democrats Executive Board Member of the Year, Pete Spaulding, active member of the West Seattle Food Bank board, Southwest Precinct Advisory Council, the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council and other community groups, and other politicos.

"I support Dow," said King County Sheriff Urquhart told the West Seattle Herald. "I think he's been a great county executive, and he has been especially supportive to law enforcement and that's what matters to me."

"Dow has had a fantastic first term as executive and I'm here to support him in his campaign for a second term," King County Councilmember McDermott told the Herald. "He's made remarkable achievements, bringing a number of people together from around the County, from enacting the congestion relief charge to preserving Metro bus service to putting together the funding package for the South Park Bridge."

Courtney Gregoire told the West Seattle Herald, "The Port of Seattle is really the economic engine for the county, and we need a strong partnership with Dow and his team. I am really thrilled about this opportunity to work hard on important issues for the county and I am really excited about hitting the ground running as commissioner."

During his speech, Constantine said, "Larry Gossitt is a bonafide civil rights hero from the time he was a high schooler. It's an honor to work with you, sir, and to learn from you (...) It was in here in the back of Fauntleroy Elementary School where I kicked off my campaign for the House in 1996 with a crowd about a tenth the size of this one (...) My great-uncle Bonner Wilson was the principal at this very elementary school in the '40's and '50's(...)

"Our employees have embraced new innovations like bringing lean management into government and they are finding out how to not merely make one-time improvements, but to create a culture of continuous improvement in county government and we're sharing those lessons with other governments around our region and around our nation (...)

"On animal services, we had terrible challenges with the humane treatment of animals in this county. We had an over-40 percent euthanasia rate (...) and today the euthanasia rate in our shelters which is now called the King County Adoption Center is down to under 14 percent.

"The saving of Maury Island (...) the State, local governments, non-profits, we banded together and saved shoreline of Maury Island no one thought we'd ever be able to save. Instead of a gravel mine it is now going to be a preserve to help orcas and our salmon recover. Thank you Councilmember McDermott in particular.

We are poised for greatness (...) We are the home to some of the world's greatest corporations (...) to some of the world's greatest research institutions (...) to some of the brightest, most innovative people in the world (...) To cash in on the natural environment we have here, the human capital is to invest in our infrastructure (...) What do I mean by human infrastructure? I mean investing in making sure that our people are educated, are trained, receive the help they need if they are struggling with mental illness or addiction, that they are being prepared not only to be happy in life but to participate in the amazing prosperity of this region."

On a more personal note, Constanine family-friend Donna Bergman was catching up with friend Lois, Dow's mother. Said Bergman, "Dow'a father John and I began teaching at Denny Junior High School in 1955. His classroom was on one side and mine was on the other. It became a 60-year friendship. Lois taught home ec at Washington Junior High. In those days it was called 'Junior High', not 'Middle School.'"

"I was an art teacher and had Dow and his brother Blair at Madison (School)," said Bergman. "Blair had straight-A's in art and I had him three years. He did some lovely work. His career in landscape architecture was a natural flow from his creativity in school. Dow was more (into) music and he loved social studies, history, and did very well, so we kind of had an inkling of his future."

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