A Duvall resident says City Councilmember Anne Laughlin can't legally run for re-election because she lives outside the city limits.
A Duvall resident says a City Council member is ineligible to run for re-election because she is living outside city limits.
Skylar Hansen says Councilmember Anne Laughlin has lived outside the city since May 2008, and her name shouldn’t appear on the November ballot.
Laughlin changed her voter registration to an address outside the city Sept. 4, 2008, according to King County Elections records. On June 4, the day she filed for re-election, she changed it back to the city address.
But Hansen doesn’t believe that Laughlin, who is going through a divorce, is back at her previous home. Her husband is still registered at that address, according to elections records.
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Laughlin, 37, said she is living with a family member outside the city for financial reasons related to the divorce. She intends to live in Duvall and told King County Elections the arrangement is temporary.
She considers the house in Duvall her permanent address, Laughlin said.
Candidates for city offices are required to be living in the city when they file for office, and live there for at least one year preceding election, according to state law.
A hearing to determine Laughlin’s residency is scheduled today before a panel that includes King County Elections officials and a civil deputy prosecutor, an elections spokeswoman said. Elections director Sherril Huff will decide whether Laughlin fulfills the residence requirement for a City Council run.
Laughlin, who is seeking a second council term, faces a challenge from Amy Ockerlander. City Council members make $500 per month, according to the city.
Hansen, who considered running for Laughlin’s seat in the spring, acknowledges he disagrees with Laughlin’s politics. He said he was upset about her vote on a parks-and-trails impact fee last year.
A divorce is sensitive, Hansen said, but he thinks the city has been lenient with her and that she is holding office illegally.
“We granted her so much grace, more than anybody else,” he said. “Now she’s grabbing for even more.”
Laughlin, who is a manager for a nonprofit, said she intends to live in Duvall but will respect whatever decision results from today’s hearing.
“This is temporary, period,” she said. “If it’s not in my favor somehow, I’ll be back in two years.”
Nicole Tsong: 206-464-2150 or firstname.lastname@example.org