Afternoon Jolt: Embarrassing email suggests Constantine affair

A personal email to King County Executive Dow Constantine went to dozens of people, bringing a personal situation to light.
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King County Executive Dow Constantine

A personal email to King County Executive Dow Constantine went to dozens of people, bringing a personal situation to light.

King County Executive Dow Constantine apparently was involved in a romantic affair with Kim Fuqua, a local communications consultant, according to a Saturday, May 12 email I obtained this morning.

Constantine, 50, is not married, but has a longtime partner, Shirley Carlson. Fuqua's emotional email implies Constantine was breaking off a romantic relationship with Fuqua. Her email, which appears to have inadvertenly gone to dozens of acquaintances, refers to seeing Constantine most recently on Friday. We have a request in to Constantine's office for his schedule that day.

Fuqua is in the middle of a divorce from Alex Alben, a local high-tech consultant and former Democratic candidate for US Congress in 2004.

We haven't seen any evidence that Constantine's liaison with Fuqua crossed legal lines or raised legal questions. Although his office is officially non-partisan, Constantine is a longtime Democratic politician and office holder who has often been mentioned as a potential candidate for governor. Democratic Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon has been under investigation by the Washington State Patrol for possible misuse of public money in part related to an affair he was reportedly having.

Fuqua's lengthy email to Constantine begins:

"I haven't written you an email before, but I figure now is the time. I need more than 160 characters to say what I want to say, and making time for a phone call seems to be too difficult for some reason."

Fuqua did not answer a call this morning and did not immediately reply to an early afternoon email.

Constantine issued the following statement to

This e-mail was intended to be a private communication from one person to another, and was inadvertently sent to a number of the sender's acquaintances. I had a brief relationship with the sender, but decided not to continue it. I am sorry that this has caused pain and embarrassment to people I care about. But this is an entirely private matter, and should remain so.


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