Jim Ferrell

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Jim Ferrell
Mayor of Federal Way, Washington
Assumed office
January 1, 2014 (2014-01-01)
Preceded bySkip Priest
Federal Way City Council, Position No. 1
In office
January 1, 2004 (2004-01-01) – December 31, 2013 (2013-12-31)
Preceded byMary Gates
Succeeded byLydia Assefa-Dawson
Personal details
Born
James Allen Ferrell

(1966-09-15) September 15, 1966 (age 52)
Political partyRepublican (1992-2012)
Democratic (2012-present)
Spouse(s)Wendy Caroline (Killian) Ferrell
ChildrenOne son
ResidenceFederal Way, Washington
Alma materUniversity of Washington (B.A.)
Gonzaga University School of Law (J.D.)
ProfessionLegislative assistant
Lawyer
Prosecutor
WebsiteOfficial

James Allen Ferrell (born September 15, 1966) is an American politician and the current mayor of Federal Way, Washington. After being a member of the Republican Party for twenty years, in 2012 he switched to the Democratic Party.[1] Ferrell previously served ten years on the Federal Way City Council and was the prime mover behind the city's transition from a Council–Manager form of city government to a Mayor-Council or "Strong Mayor" government.[2] Federal Way is currently the 9th largest city in the state of Washington.[3]

Personal background[edit]

Jim Ferrell grew up in Federal Way until the age of nine when his father died.[4] After his father's passing, he, his mother, his twin brother and his older brother and sister moved to Yelm, Washington. Jim Ferrell graduated from Yelm High School in 1985 as a multi-sport athlete and student body president. After high school, Ferrell attended the University of Washington and walked on, as an outside linebacker, to the Washington Huskies football team, then led by Hall of Fame head coach Don James. Ferrell spent four seasons (1985–88) on the team, receiving the 1986 Brian Stapp Memorial Award for the most inspirational non-letterman, earning the 1988 Bob Jarvis Award for most inspirational walk-on player, and was chosen by his fellow players in 1988 to win the prestigious Guy Flaherty Medal for the team's most inspirational player, despite being primarily a scout team player for all four seasons.[5] After graduating in 1989 from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in political science, Ferrell attended the Gonzaga University School of Law and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) in 1993.

Jim Ferrell lives in Federal Way with his wife, Wendy, and their son.

Professional background[edit]

While in law school, Ferrell was a White House intern during the presidency of George H. W. Bush and worked as a legislative assistant for State Senators Pete von Reichbauer and Ray Schow; both of whom represented Washington's 30th legislative district, which includes the entirety of Federal Way.[6] During this period, Jim Ferrell was nearly appointed to the Washington State Senate, finishing second behind Schow to fill the seat left vacant after von Reichbauer's election to the King County Council.[7]

After receiving his J.D., Ferrell began his career as a prosecutor for the City of Renton, Washington before moving onto the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office in 1998. That same year Ferrell won an award from the King County Sheriff's Office for performing life-saving CPR on a fellow prosecutor and, in 2003, won an award for chasing down on foot and apprehending a defendant who had fled a courtroom. In 2000, Ferrell became the supervisor of King County's newly created domestic violence court[8] and later (2005–07) served two terms as the president of the King County Prosecuting Attorneys Union. Similar to his near appointment to the State Senate, Ferrell in 2007 finished second behind Dan Satterberg to be appointed as King County Prosecuting Attorney to fill the position following the death of Norm Maleng.[9] Jim Ferrell had risen to the position of King County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney before resigning on December 31, 2013 to take the position of mayor of Federal Way.[10]

Political career[edit]

In 2002, Jim Ferrell challenged the 30th Legislative District's (then) two-term incumbent socially conservative Democratic Washington State Representative Mark Miloscia.[11] Miloscia ended up winning the election by more than 11 percentage points.[12] The following year, Ferrell took on incumbent Federal Way City Councilmember Mary Gates, who had been a city councilmember since Federal Way was incorporated in 1990.[13] Ultimately, Ferrell defeated Gates by nearly 5 percentage points.[14] In his two subsequent city council reelection races in 2007 and 2011, Ferrell did not face any opposition.[15][16]

One of Ferrell's prime initiatives while on the city council was a successful transition to making Federal Way Municipal Court judges elected, instead of appointed.[17] Analogous to this interest in having public accountability for officials, Jim Ferrell supported the February 2008 ballot initiative to transition from a Council–Manager form of city government to a Mayor-Council or "Strong Mayor" government.[18] The initiative failed by about 10 percentage points.[19] The following year, Ferrell spearheaded a second effort to make the same transition in city government.[20] This initiative, on its second attempt, passed by about 3 percentage points on the 2009 General Election ballot.[21]

During the campaign to change the city's form of government, Ferrell made clear that he would run for the office of mayor if the initiative proved successful.[22] Later, State Representative Skip Priest, City Councilmember Mike Park, and City Councilmember (and future State Representative) Linda Kochmar also joined the race to become the city's first elected mayor.[23] His campaign focused on opposition to the proposed skyscraper development in the city's downtown,[24] skepticism of the proposed performing arts center, and a focus on public safety. In the primary election, Ferrell and Priest finished as the top-two vote-getters meaning they would face-off in the general election.[25] Ultimately, Skip Priest won the general election by about 4 percentage points.[26] The proposed skyscraper plan, which was a major talking point during the campaign, died three months after the election when the developers could not pay an initial $100,000 to the city on the proposed $350 million project.[27]

In April 2012, five months following Ferrell's election to a third term to the Federal City Council, he announced that he would be switching parties; from the Republican party to the Democratic party.[28] In his column explaining his decision, Ferrell said it was motivated by what he saw as a move by the Republican party to more far-right tone and reactionary policies. Chief among his concerns were that the Republican party appeared to him to take neither global climate change nor a 21st-century approach to energy policy seriously. Also concerning Ferrell was what he saw as the Republican party's continued preference toward tax cuts for the rich instead of policies to mitigate the jobs lost and lives upended following the Great Recession of 2008.

On May 6, 2013, Jim Ferrell announced his candidacy for Federal Way's mayor in the 2013 election, in what turned out to be a rematch of the 2010 contest between himself and (then) Mayor Skip Priest.[29] In addition to similar themes heard during the 2010 election, Ferrell was also critical of Priest's cuts in the city's workforce, particularly its police force, during his term in office, as well as his advocacy for legislation that would have dismantled Sound Transit.[30] Public safety was of particular interest during the election due to the 2013 mass shooting at Federal Way's Pinewood Village apartment complex that left five dead,[31] in addition to a 24% increase in burglaries and a 12% increase in auto thefts in the city in 2012.[32] The rematch of the 2010 election resulted in the unseating of the incumbent mayor with Ferrell prevailing with more than 55% of the vote.[33]

Mayor of Federal Way[edit]

Jim Ferrell took office as Federal Way's second elected mayor on January 1, 2014.

Electoral history[edit]

Federal Way Mayor, General Election 2013[34]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Non-partisan Jim Ferrell 8,299 55.15 +7.17
Non-partisan Skip Priest (Incumbent) 6,749 44.85 -7.17
Federal Way City Council, Position No. 1, General Election 2011[35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Non-partisan Jim Ferrell (Incumbent) 13,097 100.00 0.00
Federal Way Mayor, General Election 2010[36]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Non-partisan Skip Priest 12,315 52.02
Non-partisan Jim Ferrell 11,360 47.98
Federal Way Mayor, Primary Election 2010[37]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Non-partisan Skip Priest 5,110 35.70
Non-partisan Jim Ferrell 3,991 27.89
Non-partisan Linda Kochmar 2,650 18.52
Non-partisan Mike Park 2,561 17.89
Federal Way City Council, Position No. 1, General Election 2007[38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Non-partisan Jim Ferrell (Incumbent) 11,049 100.00 +47.63
Federal Way City Council, Position No. 1, General Election 2003[39]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Non-partisan Jim Ferrell 5,988 52.37
Non-partisan Mary Gates (Incumbent) 5,445 47.63 -52.37
Washington's 30th legislative district State Representative, Pos. 1, General Election 2002[40]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Mark Miloscia (Incumbent) 15,870 55.91 -1.82
Republican Jim Ferrell 12,513 44.09
Washington's 30th legislative district State Representative, Pos. 1, Primary Election 2002[41]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Mark Miloscia (Incumbent) 8,622 54.52
Republican Jim Ferrell 7,193 45.48

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The decision to switch political parties - Jim Ferrell". federalwaymirror.com. April 20, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  2. ^ "Federal Way vote may put mayor in charge". seattletimes.com. February 11, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  3. ^ "American FactFinder - United States Census Bureau". factfinder.census.gov. May 21, 2015. Archived from the original on April 17, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  4. ^ "Federal Way's mayor candidates in their own words - Jim Ferrell". federalwaymirror.com. September 24, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  5. ^ "Washington Huskies Football History - Awards" (PDF). graphics.ocsn.com. 2002. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  6. ^ "Jim Ferrell - Candidate for State Representative, 30th Legislative District". community.seattletimes.nwsource.com. September 3, 2002. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  7. ^ "Conservative Ray Schow Tapped To Fill 30Th District Senate Seat -- Republican Les Thomas Chosen For Vance's House Position". community.seattletimes.nwsource.com. January 8, 1994. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  8. ^ "Few challengers in South County contests". seattlepi.com. October 30, 2003. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  9. ^ "Satterberg to stay on through elections". seattletimes.com. July 10, 2007. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  10. ^ "Federal Way elects Jim Ferrell as mayor". thenewstribune.com. November 8, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  11. ^ Like Ferrell, Miloscia would later change parties, he to Republican in 2014.
  12. ^ "King County Elections, 2002 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 20, 2002. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  13. ^ "South County incumbents struggle to keep council seats". seattlepi.com. November 5, 2003. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  14. ^ "King County Elections, 2003 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 19, 2003. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  15. ^ "King County Elections, 2007 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 27, 2007. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  16. ^ "King County Elections, 2011 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 28, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  17. ^ "Ferrell's making another run". federalwaynews.net. May 8, 2007. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  18. ^ "Federal Way vote may put mayor in charge". seattletimes.com. February 11, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  19. ^ "King County Elections, 2008 Presidential Primary Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. March 5, 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  20. ^ "Elected mayor debate, round two: ACT vs. Federal Way Works". federalwaymirror.com. October 12, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  21. ^ "King County Elections, 2009 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 24, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  22. ^ "Year in review: Federal Way's top headlines of 2009". federalwaymirror.com. December 31, 2009. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  23. ^ "Federal Way mayor candidates take the stage and make their pitch". federalwaymirror.com. July 19, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  24. ^ "Korean developer lacks money for downtown Federal Way high-rise project". seattlepi.com. March 22, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  25. ^ "King County Elections, 2010 Primary Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. August 31, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  26. ^ "King County Elections, 2010 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 22, 2010. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  27. ^ "Federal Way's high-rise deal dies". seattlepi.com. February 9, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  28. ^ "The decision to switch political parties - Jim Ferrell". federalwaymirror.com. April 20, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  29. ^ "Jim Ferrell announces candidacy for mayor of Federal Way". federalwaymirror.com. May 6, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  30. ^ "ELECTION: Mayoral and council candidates tackle top issues". federalwaymirror.com. October 10, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  31. ^ "It took just 10 minutes for 5 shooting deaths". thenewstribune.com. April 23, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  32. ^ "Mayoral election rematch: Candidates clash over PACC, public safety and city's direction". federalwaymirror.com. September 22, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  33. ^ "King County Elections, 2013 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 26, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  34. ^ "King County Elections, 2013 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 26, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  35. ^ "King County Elections, 2011 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 28, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  36. ^ "King County Elections, 2010 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 22, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  37. ^ "King County Elections, 2010 Primary Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. August 31, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  38. ^ "King County Elections, 2007 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 27, 2007. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  39. ^ "King County Elections, 2003 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 19, 2003. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  40. ^ "King County Elections, 2002 General Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. November 20, 2002. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  41. ^ "King County Elections, 2002 Primary Election Results". your.kingcounty.gov. September 27, 2002. Retrieved March 30, 2014.