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Marriage wasn't a secret, but mayor and county councilman kept it quiet because 'This was about us'
Friday Harbor Mayor Carrie Lacher and County Councilman Howard Rosenfeld were married Jan. 1 on Whidbey Island.
While not secretive about it — they told friends and town and county officials after-the-fact — they've been quiet about it because, they say, they get enough attention as public officials.
Their dinner wedding — at a friend's house on Whidbey Island — took place the day Lacher took office as mayor. No one from San Juan Island was present. The newlyweds spent their wedding night in a seaside cabin that was formerly part of the Captain Whidbey Inn.
They've made their home in Rosenfeld's Web Street home and art studio. Lacher is selling her house on Carter Avenue.
Lacher and Rosenfeld met in 1994, when she was director of Wee Care Day Care and he was town fire chief. Over the years, she was a customer at his Friday Harbor Art Studio. They started dating around Thanksgiving "a couple of years ago," she said. They had talked about marrying for about a year.
As for the wedding date, they tossed around different ideas. Rosenfeld wanted it to be after the election — "He said he would only marry the mayor," she quipped. They finally settled on New Year's Day; it was the future groom's idea, which the bride-to-be saw as romantic. "He liked the idea of being married on 01/01/10," she said.
With his new wife getting so much attention as the new mayor — the first woman elected to the job in town history — Rosenfeld wanted to shield her from additional spotlight.
"She was getting so much attention, we didn't want more attention," he said. She added, "I had just finished the campaign. This was about us."
By the way, about her wedding ring: Rosenfeld had it made in Thailand when he served there in the Peace Corps. It is being sized for her; his name is inscribed in Thai.
The island's new power couple unwinds by taking walks together. But at home, the old rule "No talk about politics at the dinner table" doesn't apply.
"We're dedicated to our positions. We try to support each other," Rosenfeld said. "We enjoy it, but I'm more of a political junkie than she is. Sometimes, I want to watch C-Span and it's too much for her."
Lacher said of their political involvement, "It's a fun part of our relationship."