Schwartz to submit name for vacant Kent City Council position

Wade Schwartz will seek the vacant Kent City Council seat vacated by Ken Sharp. The council will pick Sharp
Wade Schwartz will seek the vacant Kent City Council seat vacated by Ken Sharp. The council will pick Sharp's replacement within the next 90 days.
— image credit: Kent Reporter, file photo

Wade Schwartz plans to seek the vacant seat on the Kent City Council after the resignation by Ken Sharp.

Schwartz, who owns Blanc-n-Schwartz Salon in downtown Kent, lost in November in a City Council race against Jim Berrios. So when Sharp resigned on Thursday because of pending first-degree theft charges against him, Schwartz decided to seek the seat.

"I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity to submit my name to the council," Schwartz said in a phone interview on Friday. "You can count on me to put my hat in the ring."

Bailey Stober, who lost to Sharp in the last election, also said he is seeking the seat.

Council President Dana Ralph said she is working with the other five members to determine how to fill Sharp's seat. State law does not set out any specific procedure except that the new appointment must occur within 90 days.

The person appointed by the council will serve until an election for the seat in November 2015, according to city officials. The appointed council member also will be eligible to run for the position. The elected individual would take office as soon as the election is certified.

"It's to be part of the bigger picture and to help Kent grow," Schwartz said about seeking a council seat. "It seems like a natural step to where I am supposed to be."

Schwartz is chair of the city Human Services Commission, on the board of the Kent Historical Society and co-founder of Kent Pride that started in 2012 as an event to support Referendum 74, the same-sex-marriage measure on the November 2012 ballot. He also helped start a LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) group at the Kent Senior Center for people ages 50 and older in the South King County LGBT community.

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