Liberty High School student experiences campaigns

November 27, 2012

Veronica Austin
Liberty High School

This election season, many seniors in high school were eligible to vote, but some went further to have their voices heard, even volunteering for candidates’ campaigns to encourage others to vote.

One such student is Liberty High School senior Kiera Stevens, who worked with the group Friends of Dave Reichert after hearing that it was in need of volunteers. The group helped coordinate 8th District Washington congressman Dave Reichert’s campaign.

“I wanted to intern because I am a Republican,” Stevens said. “The party is a minority in this state, so I wanted to support it.”

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Dave Reichert wins another term in Congress

November 13, 2012

Dave Reichert

Redistricting ended almost a decade of close challenges for control in the 8th Congressional District, as voters re-elected Republican Dave Reichert by a comfortable margin after a campaign unlike other recent contests for the seat.

In a landslide, Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, defeated Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield, a nonprofit professional and adjunct instructor at Seattle University.

Reichert held on amid vigorous challenges from Democrats in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, but redistricting last year reshaped the district. The state commission responsible for redrawing the political map snipped Eastside cities from the district and added Eastern Washington communities.

The result created a seat observers said is reliably Republican — and offered little suspense as Election Day came to a close. Reichert led by 18 points in the initial election night results and continued to hold a commanding lead.

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Dave Reichert outpaces Karen Porterfield to represent Issaquah in Congress

November 6, 2012

Karen Porterfield

Dave Reichert

UPDATED — 11:10 p.m. Nov. 6, 2012

Dave Reichert is poised to return to Washington, D.C., to represent Issaquah and the 8th Congressional District.

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, faced Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield, a nonprofit professional and adjunct instructor at Seattle University.

Reichert led, 59 percent to 41 percent, in the initial results released Tuesday night.

The district stretches from Auburn to Issaquah, and then across the Cascades to Ellensburg and Wenatchee.

“We toured cities from Eatonville to Chelan, and I heard the same thing, ‘We’ve got to get the economy moving again,’” Reichert said at the GOP election night celebration in Bellevue. “I’m in a good position to do that in the Ways & Means Committee.”

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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.

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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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