Seattle, WA-Richard Pope says he needs a break. Running unsuccessfully for elected office 10 times in 11 years will do that to a man.

His most recent loss was this week, a run for King County District Court judge that gave him his best election numbers ever.

Failure is not on Pope’s mind, though. Every defeat gave him a chance to highlight issues, he said, such as what he sees as unfair port taxes and county property assessments. In some of the races, he was the only person willing to take on an entrenched incumbent.

“If I had been totally humiliated in something, I would have taken that as a message to never try this again,” Pope said. “I don’t think I’ve been humiliated.”

Pope, a Bellevue attorney, has run for just about every level of government, including two campaigns for attorney general, three runs for Port of Seattle commissioner, one for King County prosecutor and another for Shoreline water commissioner.

In half the races, he didn’t make it out of the primary, and until this year had never received more than 38 percent of the vote.

But in September Pope won a three-way primary in a race to unseat longtime Eastside judge Mary Ann Ottinger, who had been censured twice and then suspended by the state Supreme Court for a failure to notify some defendants of their rights. He faced substitute judge Frank LaSalata in this week’s general election.

The results are not final, but Pope will probably end up with a vote percentage in the mid-40s — his best showing. And he said he helped boot out a judge with a poor disciplinary record. “I had the idea going into this race that I could beat Judge Ottinger, and I guess I did,” he said.

Pope’s campaigns often hit serious obstacles. He usually runs as a Republican but hasn’t received much support from party leaders. In some races, the Municipal League has rated him poor or unqualified, and in this year’s judge race he also had to explain a history of sanctions and fines for his conduct as an attorney.

For all his eagerness, Pope is not the most prolific local political candidate. Mike The Mover, for one, has run for office at least 15 times, including a bid in the U.S. Senate primary this year.

But unlike Mover, who runs partly to drum up business for his moving company, Pope says he runs to win and has received a couple of million votes over the years, including primary and general elections.

For now, though, it’s time to leave the yard signs at home.”I don’t know what to think about what I will or won’t do in the future,” he said. “I’ll probably wait a while and see.”
Source: Seattle Times

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