John Urquhart takes office as King County sheriff

December 4, 2012

John Urquhart

John Urquhart assumed office as King County sheriff Nov. 28, months after retiring as the agency’s longtime spokesman.

Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office sergeant, defeated the incumbent sheriff, Steve Strachan, 56 percent to 43 percent, in the Nov. 5 election after a contentious campaign.

Strachan, a former Kent police chief, and Urquhart debated how to lead the sheriff’s office after a series of audits lambasted how the agency operates.

The sheriff oversees a budget of about $150 million and about 1,000 employees, and leads the largest local police organization in the state after the Seattle Police Department.

Urquhart won election to fill the remaining year in former Sheriff Sue Rahr’s unexpired term, and is due to face voters again next year.

Voters choose John Urquhart for King County sheriff

November 13, 2012

John Urquhart

John Urquhart is King County’s next top lawman.

Urquhart defeated the incumbent sheriff, Steve Strachan, 57 percent to 43 percent, after a contentious campaign.

Strachan, a former Kent police chief, and Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office sergeant and spokesman, locked horns about the agency’s future. The contest to lead the King County Sheriff’s Office hinged on a series of audits into how the agency operates.

The sheriff oversees a budget of about $150 million and about 1,000 employees, and leads the largest local police organization in the state after the Seattle Police Department.

Read more

Next King County sheriff faces tough decisions to reform agency

October 16, 2012

The contest to lead the King County Sheriff’s Office could hinge on a series of audits into how the agency operates.

The sheriff oversees a budget of about $150 million and about 1,000 employees, and leads the largest local police organization in the state after the Seattle Police Department.

John Urquhart

Steve Strachan

The contentious race pits Sheriff Steve Strachan, a former Kent police chief, against John Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office sergeant and spokesman.

King County Council members appointed Strachan as sheriff in April, not long after former Sheriff Sue Rahr resigned to lead the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, or state police academy.

Though the election is to fill the Rahr’s unexpired term through 2013, the next sheriff faces a landmark effort to reform the agency in response to audits critical of policies put into place under Strachan’s predecessors.

Strachan, a SeaTac resident, served as a police chief and state legislator in Minnesota before accepting the Kent post in 2006. In the Minnesota Legislature, he helped pass legislation to reduce the blood-alcohol limit to 0.08 percent. Rahr tapped Strachan as the chief deputy, or No. 2 spot, at the sheriff’s office in early 2011.

Read more

Press Editorial

October 16, 2012

John Urquhart for sheriff

King County voters last experienced a contested race for sheriff in 2005.

The race on the ballot next month, between appointed Sheriff Steve Strachan and John Urquhart, a former King County Sheriff’s Office sergeant, offers voters a choice between a pair of capable candidates.

Former Sheriff Sue Rahr stepped down in March, and the King County Council appointed Strachan for the interim. The election is to fill the remainder of Rahr’s term through December 2013.

Read more

King County Sheriff’s Office to hire 14 deputies

October 13, 2012

King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert (center) joins Councilman Joe McDermott (from left), King County Executive Dow Constantine and Sheriff Steve Strachan for the hiring announcement Friday. Contributed

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 13, 2012

King County Sheriff Steve Strachan announced a plan Friday to hire 14 deputies in the months ahead by using dollars from the existing King County Sheriff’s Office budget.

Read more

Candidates receive boost from Municipal League of King County

July 10, 2012

Issaquah candidates for the Legislature received top marks from the Municipal League of King County, as the nonpartisan organization ranked candidates a little more than a month before the Aug. 7 primary.

The league ranks candidates through a rigorous process during each election cycle. The ratings provide a tool for voters — plus fodder for candidates’ campaign mailers and websites.

Evaluators scrutinize candidate records, check references, review candidate questionnaires and interview the electoral hopefuls. The league rates candidates on a set of criteria: involvement, character, effectiveness and knowledge.

Read more

Issaquah candidates receive boost in Municipal League rankings

July 2, 2012

NEW — 1 p.m. July 2, 2012

Issaquah candidates for the Legislature received top marks from the Municipal League of King County, as the nonpartisan organization ranked candidates a little more than a month before the Aug. 7 primary.

In the 5th Legislative District, state Senate candidate Mark Mullet and state House of Representatives candidate Chad Magendanz impressed Muni League evaluators.

Mullet, a Democrat and Issaquah City Council member, earned a very good rating from the group. The league ranked Mullet’s GOP opponent, Snoqualmie businessman Brad Toft, as good.

Magendanz, a Republican and Issaquah School Board member, received a coveted outstanding rating from the Muni League.

Read more

Former spokesman John Urquhart enters race for King County sheriff

May 1, 2012

John Urquhart

John Urquhart, a familiar presence briefing journalists at crime scenes as the longtime former spokesman for the King County Sheriff’s Office, is running for the top job at the law enforcement agency.

Urquhart, 64, entered the race for the nonpartisan office April 24. The retired sergeant and Mercer Island resident outlined accountability and leadership as campaign themes.

Before serving as spokesman for the agency, Urquhart’s career included stints as a patrol officer, field training officer, a vice and narcotics detective and, in his most familiar role, as spokesman for sheriffs Dave Reichert and Sue Rahr.

Speculation about the race for sheriff started after Rahr resigned March 31 to accept the top job at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

The incumbent sheriff, appointee Steve Strachan, is expected to run for a full term. Candidates can enter the race until the May 18 filing deadline.

King County Council appoints Steve Strachan as sheriff

April 10, 2012

The top law enforcement officer in King County is Steve Strachan, the former top deputy at the King County Sheriff’s Office.

King County Council members appointed Strachan to succeed former Sheriff Sue Rahr on April 2, days after Rahr resigned to lead the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. The sheriff oversees about 1,000 employees and a $138 million budget.

Under the King County Charter, the council is responsible for appointing a sheriff who will run the department until the vacancy is filled during the next general election in November. Strachan, a former state legislator and city councilman in Minnesota, is expected to run for the post.

Strachan joined the sheriff’s office as chief deputy in January 2011 after serving as police chief in Kent. Before joining the Kent Police Department, he served as police chief in Lakeville, Minn.

In 1996, voters in Farmington, Minn., elected Strachan as a city councilman. Then, in 2002, voters elected him to the Minnesota House of Representatives.

King County Council appoints Steve Strachan as sheriff

April 2, 2012

NEW — 5:15 p.m. April 2, 2012

The top law enforcement officer in King County is Steve Strachan, the former top deputy at the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Steve Strachan

King County Council members appointed Strachan to succeed former Sheriff Sue Rahr on Monday, days after Rahr resigned to lead the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. The sheriff oversees about 1,000 employees and a $138 million budget.

Under the King County Charter, the council is responsible for appointing a sheriff until the vacancy is filled during the next general election in November. Strachan, a former state legislator and city councilman in Minnesota, is expected to run for the post.

Read more

Next Page »