Lovick kicks off campaign for SheriffFive term legislator plans return to law enforcement roots JOURNAL STAFF Rep. John Lovick (D-Mill Creek) kicked his Sheriff candidacy into gear Friday with a politically star-studded campaign kick-off at his Mill Creek home. In Olympia, Lovick currently serves under House Speaker Frank Chopp as Speaker Pro Tempore, a position from which Lovick controls the gavel and oversees House business on a day-to-day basis. Lovick also sits on the powerful House Rules committee. Despite his success at the Capitol, Lovick is ready to leave Olympia behind and return to his roots in law enforcement.
Lovick said his main priority, as Sheriff would be creating a sense of community between the department and citizens.
“As I’ve gone doorbelling - and I’ve probably knocked on at least 1,000 doors in the last month - I keep hearing the same things from people. They want a Sheriff’s office that responds when they call. And I think our Sheriff’s office is doing a good job of that. But I want to step it up a notch. We are going to respond to calls for service, but what I really want to do most of all is to reach out and from community partnerships with the Sheriff’s office and the public.”
Lovick said he would like Sheriff’s deputies to adopt a neighborhood school and make it their own.
“I want to put deputies back in schools. Not because they are assigned there for law enforcement, but because they are there with a sense of ownership and community. I want the deputy to say ‘This is my school, in my neighborhood and I’m going to own what goes on here.’ I want the deputy’s picture on the wall in the school. I want our deputies to be more recognizable to children then a Seattle Seahawk or Mariner,” Lovick said.
Lovick has received the endorsement of County Executive Aaron Reardon (Reardon also has endorsed Lt. Rob Beidler) and the County’s top law enforcement officer, Prosecutor Janice Ellis.
“I’ve known John for a very very long time. There’s no job to big or to small for John. The job of Sheriff is a job that John is going to do with extraordinary success.” Said Ellis.
Some of Lovick’s colleagues at the House said that while they will miss Lovick, they are happy to see him headed back into law enforcement.
“When John worked for the State Patrol, he worked hard, he worked as a professional. He did the job with integrity, accountability and responsibility,” said Rep. Mark Ericks, a retired police officer and friend of Lovick’s.
“When you’re talking about the elected County Sheriff position, you want an individual who can work with others in a constructive and positive way. That’s what John is able to do. While we’ll miss him in the House, we know we will still see him in Olympia when he is lobbying for Snohomish County’s law enforcement needs as our next Snohomish County Sheriff. “ Ericks said.
Lovick made waves in Olympia last session with his aggressive and ultimately successful campaign for auto theft legislation. House Bill 1001 cracks down on car thieves with tougher penalties, and was recently signed into law by the Governor. Lovick demonstrated the ease with which car thieves can strike by staging a simulated car theft and strip-down on the Capitol steps last March. Three men armed only with wrenches completely stripped a 2006 Honda Element in a total of 596 seconds, despite an unrelenting downpour.
“Even after spending my career as a state trooper, that demonstration surprised me. It amazes me how fast car thieves can take apart your car. I know how devastating it is for a mom or a dad to hurry to get their kids together in the morning only to head out the door to an empty driveway. It’s our duty to protect families,” Lovick said.
Lovick served guests his signature Cajun-fried turkey and jojo potatoes, and thanked his guests for showing up on a day in which Senator Barack Obama was speaking in Seattle.
A 31-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol, Lovick also served 11 years in the Coast Guard. Lovick has won election to the State House of Representatives five times.
Lovick faces two challengers for the non-partisan Sheriff position: Lt. Rob Beidler and Snohomish County Bureau Chief Tom Greene.
Lovick announced his candidacy for the position to be vacated by current Sheriff Rick Bart on May 2. Bart is unable to run again due to term limit restrictions.
Lovick said he has the tools necessary to replace Bart and excel at the Sheriff position.
“I left the State Patrol after 31 years, and they say that when you retire, you should have health, wealth and wisdom. Well, I have the health, I don’t have the wealth - but I think I have the wisdom,” Lovick said, “I’m going to use that wisdom to do some wonderful things with the Sheriff’s office.