Ivar Haglund is elected, unintentionally, to the Seattle Port Commission on November 8, 1983.

  • By Paul Dorpat and David Wilma
  • Posted 6/27/2000
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 2511

On November 8, 1983, Seattle restaurateur and celebrity Ivar Haglund (1905-1985) is unintentionally elected to a six-year term on the Seattle Port Commission, after he files to run as a publicity gag. He was annoyed by boxcars that blocked the view of Elliott Bay from his Acres of Clams restaurant.

Actually running for office was a task to be diligently avoided. When Haglund pleaded with Scott Kingdon, the general manager of his restaurants, to help him withdraw, Kingdon told him that it was too late. Although he did not campaign, he won the primary by 30,000 votes. Being a Port Commissioner was tiresome for the 78-year-old restaurateur and he routinely missed meetings. He attempted to pacify his fellow commissioners with free clam chowder, but they were not so easily amused.


Paul Dorpat "King of the Waterfront," (tentative title, biography of Ivar Haglund in progress), in possession of Paul Dorpat, Seattle, 2000; Dave Stephens, Ivar: The Life and Times of Ivar Haglund (Seattle: Dunhill Publishing, 1986), 147-150.

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