Dave Upthegrove. COURTESY PHOTO

Dave Upthegrove. COURTESY PHOTO

Upthegrove one of seven candidates for state lands commissioner

His King County Council member’s district includes part of Kent

Dave Upthegrove, a King County Council member whose District 5 includes part of Kent, is one of seven candidates for state Commissioner of Public Lands.

The two candidates with the most votes on the Aug. 6 ballot will move on to the Nov. 5 general election. Filing week was May 6-10.

Upthegrove, a Des Moines Democrat, has represented District 5 on the King County Council since 2014.

The other candidates are Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican and former U.S. representative who lost her 3rd District Congressional seat in 2022; State Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Port Angeles; Patrick DePoe, a Democrat from Neah Bay and a member of the Makah Tribe; Sue Kuehl Pederson, a Republican who lost to current lands commissioner Hillary Franz in 2020; Allen Lebovitz, a Democrat from Olympia; and Jeralee Anderson, a Democrat and Redmond City Council member.

Franz, a Democrat, is running for Congress rather than reelection.

The lands commissioner leads the state’s wildfire fighting force and manages nearly 6 million acres of public lands – from coastal waters and aquatic reserves, to working forests and farms, commercial developments and recreation areas.

Upthegrove ran unsuccessfully for lands commissioner in 2016. He placed third in the primary election behind Republican Steve McLaughlin and Franz. Franz won the general election.

Das drops out

Democrat Mona Das, of Kent, announced her campaign for lands commissioner last year but dropped out of the race because her mother had a stroke in November 2023, Das said in a May 13 email.

“I have been taking care of her and could no longer continue to run,” said Das, a state senator in the 47th District from 2018 to 2022 who didn’t run for reelection.

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