Voters endorse property tax measure, incumbent candidates

August 7, 2012

NEW — 8:40 p.m. Aug. 7, 2012

King County voters endorsed a $200 million property tax measure to build a juvenile justice facility, as King County Elections released initial results Tuesday night.

Officials asked voters to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.

The measure appeared on a crowded primary ballot alongside federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests. Voters in Issaquah and throughout Washington returned ballots in recent days, as the calendar inched closer to the summer primary — and the Tuesday deadline to postmark or return ballots.

The electorate chose the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

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Senate is familiar territory for Sammamish’s Dino Rossi

July 17, 2012

State Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson (left) administers the oath of office to former and current state Sen. Dino Rossi, R-Sammamish. Washington Senate Republicans

The next senator for the 5th Legislative District also held the post before the most recent occupant.

Republican Dino Rossi, a Sammamish resident, represented Issaquah in Olympia from 1997 until December 2003. In January 2004, Republican Cheryl Pflug succeeded Rossi and, after Pflug resigned to accept a state board post, King County Council members returned Rossi to the state Senate.

Rossi is not expected to serve for long. The next senator — either Mark Mullet, a Democrat and Issaquah City Council member, or Republican Brad Toft, a Snoqualmie businessman — is due to assume office in late November, after King County Elections certifies the Nov. 6 election results.

Rossi is not a candidate for the seat and, besides, after the November election, the political boundaries for Rossi’s neighborhood shift into the 45th Legislative District due to redistricting.

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Former Sen. Cheryl Pflug reacts to Dino Rossi appointment

July 17, 2012

Cheryl Pflug, former state senator for Issaquah and other Eastside communities, lambasted the appointment of Dino Rossi to fill the seat Pflug vacated late last month.

Cheryl Pflug

The sharp statement from Pflug, a Maple Valley Republican, came July 10, a day after the King County Council appointed Rossi to the seat as a caretaker until after the November election.

“I’m angry and appalled at the tactics of my former Senate Republican leadership, and I think they and Rossi shame themselves by trying to play godfather,” she said in the statement.

Pflug also endorsed Mark Mullet, a Democrat and Issaquah City Council member, in the race for the Senate race. Mullet is running against Brad Toft, a Snoqualmie businessman, for the post.

“This has been brewing for awhile, and I did tell Mark that he could put my name in the voters’ pamphlet,” she said in a later interview.

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Dino Rossi to represent Issaquah again in Olympia

July 10, 2012

Former state senator is appointed to Cheryl Pflug’s old seat

Dino Rossi

Dino Rossi is headed back to Olympia to represent Issaquah and other Eastside communities in the state Senate.

Rossi — a GOP candidate for governor in 2004 and 2008, and for U.S. Senate in 2010 — succeeds former state Sen. Cheryl Pflug. The businessman and Sammamish resident last represented the 5th Legislative District in the state Senate from 1996 until resigning in 2003 to run for governor.

King County Council members unanimously recommended Rossi for the caretaker position July 9, a little more than a week after Pflug, a Republican, resigned to serve on a state board.

“I do know the people of this district,” Rossi said in testimony to council members.

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Ballots for August primary to reach voters soon

July 10, 2012

Ballots should start to arrive in King County voters’ mailboxes in the days ahead.

The summer primary — bumped up to Aug. 7 to accommodate military and overseas voters — allows local voters a chance to decide a property tax measure and cull the field in federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.

The electorate selects the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

In the 5th Legislative District, voters must narrow the field of Republican Chad Magendanz, Democrat David Spring and independent candidate Ryan Burkett in the race for a state House of Representatives seat.

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Candidates receive boost from Municipal League of King County

July 10, 2012

Issaquah candidates for the Legislature received top marks from the Municipal League of King County, as the nonpartisan organization ranked candidates a little more than a month before the Aug. 7 primary.

The league ranks candidates through a rigorous process during each election cycle. The ratings provide a tool for voters — plus fodder for candidates’ campaign mailers and websites.

Evaluators scrutinize candidate records, check references, review candidate questionnaires and interview the electoral hopefuls. The league rates candidates on a set of criteria: involvement, character, effectiveness and knowledge.

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Former Sen. Cheryl Pflug criticizes appointment of Dino Rossi as successor, endorses Mark Mullet

July 10, 2012

UPDATED — 4:40 p.m. July 10, 2012

Cheryl Pflug, former state senator for Issaquah and other Eastside communities, lambasted the appointment of Dino Rossi to fill the seat Pflug vacated late last month.

Cheryl Pflug

The sharp statement from Pflug, a Maple Valley Republican, came a day after the King County Council appointed Rossi, a Sammamish Republican, to the seat as a caretaker until after the November election.

Pflug also endorsed Mark Mullet, a Democrat and Issaquah City Council member, in the race for the Senate race. Mullet is running against Brad Toft, a Snoqualmie businessman, for the post. (Rossi is not a candidate for the seat in the upcoming election.)

“I’m a Republican. I believe Rob McKenna will be a great governor because he’s honest, and he’s a brilliant unifier. That’s why I’m also endorsing Mark Mullet,” Pflug said in a statement issued just after 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. “His business background, financial expertise, and common sense make him the right person to represent all the residents of the 5th District, not just special interests and party bosses.”

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Dino Rossi is poised to serve as 5th Legislative District senator — again

July 9, 2012

NEW — 10:05 a.m. July 9, 2012

Dino Rossi is all but certain to head back to Olympia to represent Issaquah and other Eastside communities in the state Senate.

Dino Rossi

Rossi — a GOP candidate for governor in 2004 and 2008, and for U.S. Senate in 2010 — succeeded former state Sen. Cheryl Pflug. The businessman and Sammamish resident last represented the 5th Legislative District in the state Senate from 1996 until resigning in 2003 to run for governor.

King County Council members recommended Rossi for the caretaker position Monday, a little more than a week after Pflug resigned to serve on a state board.

The council is expected to decide on the appointment Monday afternoon. The last action is a formality.

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Issaquah candidates receive boost in Municipal League rankings

July 2, 2012

NEW — 1 p.m. July 2, 2012

Issaquah candidates for the Legislature received top marks from the Municipal League of King County, as the nonpartisan organization ranked candidates a little more than a month before the Aug. 7 primary.

In the 5th Legislative District, state Senate candidate Mark Mullet and state House of Representatives candidate Chad Magendanz impressed Muni League evaluators.

Mullet, a Democrat and Issaquah City Council member, earned a very good rating from the group. The league ranked Mullet’s GOP opponent, Snoqualmie businessman Brad Toft, as good.

Magendanz, a Republican and Issaquah School Board member, received a coveted outstanding rating from the Muni League.

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Officials start process to replace state Sen. Cheryl Pflug

June 19, 2012

King County Council members started the process June 11 to appoint a successor to Republican state Sen. Cheryl Pflug.

Under state law, the council is responsible for appointing a successor to the Senate seat after Pflug resigns July 1 to accept a state board post. The law calls for GOP officials to submit three candidates to the council for the open seat. Then, the council must make a selection within 60 days of Pflug’s resignation.

In May, Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed Pflug to a six-year term on the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, the panel responsible for mediating disputes about planning and development issues in municipalities throughout the state.

Members cannot serve simultaneously on the board and in the Legislature. Pflug intends to resign from the Senate on July 1, the same day the state board appointment starts.

Pflug’s successor is not expected to serve for long. Come July 1, only about six months remain before the Senate term expires.

The seat is up for election in the meantime between Issaquah Councilman Mark Mullet, a Democrat, and Snoqualmie businessman Brad Toft, a Republican.

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