Issaquah students cast ballots in mock elections

October 30, 2012

The minimum age to vote is 18, but the hurdle did not stop students throughout the Issaquah School District from casting ballots in the tight races for president and governor.

Educators on local campuses organized mock elections or joined the annual Student Mock Election overseen by the state elections office to educate students about the importance of participation in the political process.

Students at Issaquah and Tiger Mountain Community high schools, Issaquah Middle School, and Creekside, Endeavour and Sunny Hills elementary schools cast ballots in ersatz elections or plan to do so by the actual Election Day, Nov. 6.

Teachers involved in the mock elections said the exercise is about more than determining whether students support Jay Inslee or Rob McKenna for governor.

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Editorial

October 30, 2012

Karen Porterfield for Congress

Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield is an excellent choice to represent the expansive 8th Congressional District.

In 2004, voters elected Republican Dave Reichert to succeed Republican Jennifer Dunn in Washington, D.C. Since then, Reichert has failed to distinguish himself in the U.S. House of Representatives and too often seems detached and unavailable from constituents at home. He does deserve credit for his work in Congress to expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Following redistricting last year, the 8th District covers more ground, stretching from Auburn to Issaquah to Wenatchee. The change in the district is a good time to change representation.

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Student Mock Election asks for future voters’ opinions

October 25, 2012

NEW — 9 a.m. Oct. 25, 2012

The minimum age to vote is 18, but the hurdle did not stop students throughout the Issaquah School District from casting ballots in the tight races for president and governor.

Educators on local campuses organized mock elections or joined the annual Student Mock Election overseen by the state elections office to educate students about the importance of participation in the political process.

Students at Issaquah and Tiger Mountain Community high schools, Issaquah Middle School, and Creekside, Endeavour and Sunny Hills elementary schools cast ballots in ersatz elections or plan to do so by the actual Election Day, Nov. 6.

Teachers involved in the mock elections said the exercise is about more than determining whether students support Jay Inslee or Rob McKenna for governor.

Read more

Change in geography alters landscape for congressional race

October 23, 2012

Karen Porterfield

Dave Reichert

The showdown in the 8th Congressional District is far different from the most recent contests for the seat.

Incumbent Republican Dave Reichert held on amid spirited challenges from Democrats in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Redistricting last year reshaped the landscape for the district, and the 2012 race is not attracting the same kind of attention — or money — as the earlier battles.

Reichert’s opponent is Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield, a nonprofit professional and adjunct instructor at Seattle University.

Porterfield grew up in Seattle, in a family active in Democratic politics, and settled in Issaquah more than a decade ago. She said the expertise she gained in affordable housing development and in leadership roles at nonprofit organizations means she could offer a unique perspective in Congress.

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Congressional candidate answers questions at forum

October 23, 2012

Karen Porterfield

Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, addressed forum attendees Oct. 18 about the federal health care overhaul, ending the war in Afghanistan and balancing the needs of 8th Congressional District constituents on both sides of the Cascades.

“It’s a big district, but the No. 1 issue that people are looking for is opportunity — education, jobs, a way to get ahead,” she said.

Porterfield is running to unseat the incumbent, Auburn Republican Dave Reichert, in the sprawling district. Redistricting reshaped the district to stretch from Auburn in South King County to Wenatchee in Chelan County.

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and a congressman since 2005, did not attend the forum.

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Acrimonious 5th Legislative District contest could reshape state Senate

October 16, 2012

Mark Mullet

Brad Toft

The candidate no longer in the race looms over the contest for the 5th Legislative District’s state Senate seat.

Cheryl Pflug, a Republican former senator and erstwhile candidate, is a constant presence in the race — in television spots supporting the Democrat in the contest and in diatribes from Republicans.

The acrimonious race to succeed Pflug pits the Democrat, Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet, against Republican Brad Toft, a manager for a national financial services firm and a Snoqualmie resident.

In a race focused on the economy and education, distractions abound — including Toft’s past legal troubles and accusations of dirty campaign tactics from both sides.

Toft entered the race late last year, before Mullet announced plans to run and Pflug filed for re-election.

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Next King County sheriff faces tough decisions to reform agency

October 16, 2012

The contest to lead the King County Sheriff’s Office could hinge on a series of audits into how the agency operates.

The sheriff oversees a budget of about $150 million and about 1,000 employees, and leads the largest local police organization in the state after the Seattle Police Department.

John Urquhart

Steve Strachan

The contentious race pits Sheriff Steve Strachan, a former Kent police chief, against John Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office sergeant and spokesman.

King County Council members appointed Strachan as sheriff in April, not long after former Sheriff Sue Rahr resigned to lead the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, or state police academy.

Though the election is to fill the Rahr’s unexpired term through 2013, the next sheriff faces a landmark effort to reform the agency in response to audits critical of policies put into place under Strachan’s predecessors.

Strachan, a SeaTac resident, served as a police chief and state legislator in Minnesota before accepting the Kent post in 2006. In the Minnesota Legislature, he helped pass legislation to reduce the blood-alcohol limit to 0.08 percent. Rahr tapped Strachan as the chief deputy, or No. 2 spot, at the sheriff’s office in early 2011.

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Meet congressional, legislative candidates at forum

October 9, 2012

Hear from the candidates for offices in Olympia and Washington, D.C., at a candidate forum cosponsored by The Issaquah Press, the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters.

The lineup for the Oct. 18 forum includes candidates for the state House of Representatives and state Senate, plus a candidate to represent Issaquah in Congress. The forum includes candidates in contested and uncontested races.

The event is not a debate. Candidates offer opening statements to the audience and then answer a series of questions from the moderator, Publisher Debbie Berto.

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Press Editorial

October 9, 2012

Join conversation at candidate forum

In 2008, fueled in part by the historic candidacy of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land, voters engaged in the political process in a once-in-a-generation way.

Though 2012 cannot recapture the sense of excitement, contests up and down the ballot merit some serious attention from Issaquah voters. So much attention is focused on the race for president, but Washington voters must decide important races for governor and other executive positions.

Voters also face a chance to make history through ballot measures to legalize marijuana and affirm the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

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Issaquah election results offer clues to November

September 18, 2012

King County is a hard-fought battleground in the race for governor, and the August primary election results for Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna confirm Issaquah is closely divided, too.

Only 150 votes separated McKenna from Inslee among Issaquah voters last month. In 2004, for comparison, 133 votes statewide decided the contest between Chris Gregoire and Dino Rossi.

The information comes from a detailed analysis of precinct results in the Aug. 7 election. Elsewhere on the ballot, Issaquah voters endorsed incumbents, and rejected past and present state legislators’ bids for higher office.

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