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Originally published Sunday, February 13, 2011 at 6:31 PM

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King County Council's Bob Ferguson to run for attorney general

Metropolitan King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson is scheduled to announce his bid for attorney general Monday morning. The Seattle Democrat confirmed his candidacy in an interview.

Seattle Times political reporter

State Attorney General Rob McKenna hasn't announced his plans for 2012, but political jockeying to succeed him has already begun if — as widely expected — he runs for governor.

Metropolitan King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson is scheduled to announce his bid for attorney general Monday morning.

Ferguson, a Seattle Democrat, confirmed his candidacy in an interview, saying he expects to be competing for an open seat, with McKenna busy campaigning for governor.

Meanwhile, Republicans are laying the groundwork for one of Ferguson's council colleagues: Reagan Dunn.

The King County GOP last week registered the Internet domain name ""

Dunn confirmed he is considering a campaign for attorney general but said he was unaware the GOP had purchased the website.

"My party actually did something. That's funny," Dunn said.

Door-to-door effort

Ferguson is best known as a hardworking campaigner who doorbelled thousands of homes to upset 20-year Democratic incumbent Cynthia Sullivan and win his first term in 2003.

In 2005, after voters shrank the council from 13 seats to nine, Ferguson won another term by beating fellow Democratic incumbent Carolyn Edmonds. He won a third term in 2009.

Ferguson was an attorney in private practice before his political career, and represented local governments in challenges to some Tim Eyman initiatives.

Ferguson said he wants to redouble the attorney general's focus on consumer protection, especially during this slow economic recovery. He'd also put a new focus on legal aid for veterans and get the attorney general's office more involved in environmental issues — performing annual reviews of Puget Sound cleanup, for example.


"Our Attorney General's Office can assert itself into some of these issues," Ferguson said. "It's a matter of how one prioritizes one's limited resources."

Dunn's waiting game

Dunn, meanwhile, is waiting for firm word on fellow Republican McKenna's plans before making any announcements of his own.

"Obviously, Rob McKenna has been an excellent attorney general and has set an incredibly high bar for performance in that office," Dunn said.

"I will say this — if he does announce for governor I would be seriously considering a run for [attorney general]," he said. "But I still haven't made up my mind, and I am watching very much what Rob decides to do."

Dunn worked as a federal prosecutor in Florida, Washington, D.C., and Seattle before being appointed to the King County Council in February 2005 to fill the vacancy created when McKenna was elected attorney general. He was elected to the seat later that year and won re-election in 2009.

Dunn, who represents southeast King County, is the son of late Republican U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn.

Another Democrat, former Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, said last week that he "is not ruling out" another bid for attorney general.

Ladenburg, who also served as Pierce County prosecutor, ran unsuccessfully against McKenna in 2008.

Jim Brunner: 206-515-5628 or

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