Sheriff candidate submitted erroneous Reichert endorsement

Major Mitzi Johanknecht is running against King County Sheriff John Urquhart, who she campaigned for four years ago. (Photo: KING)
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A candidate running for King County Sheriff submitted for publication in the voters’ guide that she had the endorsement of Congressman and former King County Sheriff Dave Reichert, but that is not true.

Submissions for the voters’ guide were due August 4, and in that written statement Major Mitzi Johanknecht claimed to have Reichert's endorsement.

“I have been endorsed by leaders from both political parties as well as the 31st, 43rd and 48th District Democrats, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and Congress member and former Sheriff Dave Reichert,” Johanknecht said in her original statement. “I am a leader worthy of your trust, and I would be grateful for your vote.”

More than two weeks later, on August 22, both Johanknecht’s campaign and Reichert’s office contacted them to alert the office of the error, according to King County Elections.

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King County Elections made the change.

Despite the correction being made after the deadline for candidate statements, the listed endorsement will not be published in the printed voters’ guide scheduled to arrive in mailboxes in mid-October.

Reichert said the incident was a misunderstanding, and he believes it was an honest mistake.

The congressman said he would not be endorsing Johanknecht or incumbent Sheriff John Urquhart, as he knows them both. In a previous election, Reichert endorsed Urquhart, because he did not know Urquhart's opponent.

Because there are nearly 500 candidates running for elected positions in November, King County Elections says that they do not fact check information that is published in the voters’ guide. King County Elections says that when they receive a statement from a candidate they look it over for slander and libel and also to ensure that there are no offensive remarks. They also say that they simply make sure the statement is copied and pasted verbatim so it matches what the candidate sent their office. 

Johanknecht has agreed to an interview, and we will update this story with her response.