John Urquhart, the longtime spokesman for the King County Sheriff's Department, may run for the department's top job.

Urquhart, who retired last fall, told KING 5 News's Lori Matsukawa that he is interested in running for county sheriff and that he will make a final decision by May 15.

Matsukawa talked with Urquhart on Friday at a Friends of Youth luncheon in Bellevue.

In an email to KING 5 News later in the day, Urquhart wrote, [O]ver the last couple of months I've had lots and lots of phone calls -- most from inside the Sheriff's Office but others as well -- urging me to run or at least put my name in the hat for the sheriff-caretaker job if the County Council goes that way. Bottom line, I am thinking about running, but I have not made a decision and won't for a month or two.

The county's current sheriff, Sue Rahr, this month accepted the job of executive director of the Criminal Justice Training Commission, which oversees certification of law enforcement officers in Washington.

Rahr plans to step down on March 31. She designated Chief Deputy Steve Strachan as interim sheriff. He'll hold that position until the King County Council either decides to confirm him as interim sheriff or names someone else to the job.

Asked about Urquhart's interest, Rahr told KING 5 News, I am 100 percent supporting Chief Deputy Steve Strachan. He gave up an excellent job as police chief in Kent and has spent the last year and a half learning the complex operations of the Sheriff's Office. He is aware and intimately involved in issues facing the Sheriff's Office. I think Strachan is the most qualified.

Rahr's term doesn't not officially expire until 2013. Kim Van Ekstrom of King CountyElections said due to the timing of Rahr's resignation, there will be an election this year to fill the final year of the sheriff's term. That election will coincide with the regular 2012 primary and general election calendar.

The filing deadline for the election is May 18.

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