Port of Seattle incumbents sail ahead

November 15, 2011

Port of Seattle Commission incumbents Bill Bryant and Gael Tarleton sailed to re-election Nov. 8. Bryant trounced challenger Dean Willard, a Sammamish resident, and Tarleton defeated Richard Pope in a lopsided contest to remain on the nonpartisan commission.

The race hinged on the economy and the environment, and the role the Port of Seattle plays in relation to each issue. The commission is the agency responsible for the Port of Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Press Editorial

November 1, 2011

Tarleton, Bryant for port commissioners

The concerns in the races for the Port of Seattle Commission are about enemies and rivals — in the name of terrorism and new competition.

Candidate Gael Tarleton, the commission’s expert on security issues, is a shoo-in for another term. Her opponent, Richard Pope, is a perennial candidate for one office or another and not a serious contender.

The other contested port race includes sharp, dedicated candidates — incumbent Bill Bryant and his challenger, Sammamish resident Dean Willard.

Bryant has steered the commission through tough financial management issues and corrected the course. His commitment to bringing port issues to the public and for the public is outstanding.

Willard’s decision to challenge Bryant — a leader respected by Democrats and Republicans, business and environmental interests alike — seems oddly timed. We encourage Willard to remain engaged in the public process. The local political scene needs more candidates with his enthusiasm and ideas.

However, Bryant is the best choice to continue leading the Port of Seattle on the rough seas ahead.

Issaquah City Council, school board candidates gather at forum

October 18, 2011

Candidates for local and regional offices offered prescriptions for counteracting the ailing economy and educating a 21st-century workforce at a forum Oct. 13.

Candidates for positions on the Issaquah School Board laugh at a joke during a candidate forum Oct. 13 at the King County Library Service Center. By Greg Farrar

Organized by The Issaquah Press and moderated by Publisher Debbie Berto, the forum attracted candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle Commission.

The candidates, gathered at the King County Library System headquarters in Issaquah, answered questions in 40-minute sections organized by office.

The forum occurred days before King County Elections mails ballots, and as many voters start to pay attention to the off-year election. Election Day is Nov. 8.

Though the majority of council seats is up for election, only a single seat is contested. In the lone contested race, challenger TJ Filley faces incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer for the Position 4 seat.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other positions.

In a far-reaching discussion about municipal issues — transportation headaches, economic development, ongoing efforts to regulate a medical marijuana operations and more — Filley and Schaer stuck to usual themes from the campaign.

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Issaquah, Port of Seattle candidates answer questions

October 13, 2011

Councilman Fred Butler (right) answers a question as council candidates (from left) TJ Filley, Joshua Schaer, Stacy Goodman and Paul Winterstein listen during a candidate forum Thursday. By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 11:30 p.m. Oct. 13, 2011

Candidates for local and regional offices offered prescriptions for counteracting the ailing economy and educating a 21st-century workforce at a forum Thursday.

Organized by The Issaquah Press and moderated by Publisher Debbie Berto, the forum attracted candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle Commission.

The candidates, gathered at the King County Library System headquarters in Issaquah, answered questions in 40-minute sections organized by race.

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Meet candidates for local, regional offices at forum

October 4, 2011

Hear from the candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle at a candidate forum sponsored by The Issaquah Press.

The forum is meant to offer voters a chance to learn about local candidates as the clock ticks down to Election Day. King County Elections is due to mail ballots to voters in late October. The forum starts at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the King County Library Service Center.

The forum is not a debate. Candidates offer opening statements to the audience and then answer a series of questions from reporters as Publisher Debbie Berto moderates the discussion.

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Port of Seattle race could shape region’s economic engine

September 27, 2011

In November, voters in King County, including those in Issaquah, will be asked to choose from among four candidates hoping to serve as commissioners for the Port of Seattle.

The port includes both the seaport in downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac International Airport. According to the port’s annual report for 2010, the port collected $75.6 million in property taxes in 2009. The projection for 2010 was $73.5 million. Those collections come from all King County residents, including those in Issaquah.

“The port is an economic engine for the entire county, not just the city of Seattle,” said Charla Skaggs, corporate media officer for the port.

Both Skaggs and other port officials said thousands of jobs depend directly and indirectly on port operations.

According to what is billed by the port as an independent report released in 2009, the port was directly and indirectly responsible for 190,000 jobs in the Puget Sound region. Port facilities generated more than $17 billion in revenue for businesses who deal with the port or the port tenants who operate the maritime terminals. All in all, those employers and employees pay about $867 million in state and local taxes.

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Few candidates face challengers in local races

June 14, 2011

Issaquah residents face a choice in a single City Council race, and a trio of council members appears likely to cruise to election unchallenged.

Challenger TJ Filley entered the race against incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer on June 10, as the candidate-filing period closed.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other council seats up for election in November.

In the races for the Issaquah School Board, incumbents Brian Deagle and Suzanne Weaver face challengers in the nonpartisan races.

Deagle, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since October 2006. Challenger Patrick Sansing, a Sammamish resident, is running against Deagle for the Director District No. 3 seat.

Weaver faces Maple Valley resident Joseph Arnaud and Issaquah resident Brian Neville to retain the Director District No. 5 seat. Weaver, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since January 2007.

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Councilman, school board members face challengers

June 10, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. June 10, 2011

Issaquah residents face a choice in a single City Council race, and a trio of council members appears likely to cruise to election unchallenged.

Challenger TJ Filley entered the race against incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer on Friday, as the candidate filing period closed.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other council seats up for election in November.

In the races for the Issaquah School Board, incumbents Brian Deagle and Suzanne Weaver face challengers in the nonpartisan races.

Deagle, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since October 2006. Challenger Patrick Sansing, a Sammamish resident, is running against Deagle for the Director District No. 3 seat.

Weaver faces Maple Valley resident Joseph Arnaud and Issaquah resident Brian Neville to retain the Director District No. 5 seat. Weaver, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since January 2007.

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Democrats decline to endorse House hopeful

October 19, 2010

Local Democrats decided against endorsing state House candidate David Spring in the race against Republican incumbent Glenn Anderson, after Spring beat the Democrats’ chosen candidate in the primary.

The chosen candidate, Dean Willard, received 17 percent of the vote in the Aug. 17 primary election. Spring pulled in 25 percent; Anderson took 58 percent.

Willard campaigned as a moderate. Spring pushed a more progressive message focused on education.

Under state election rules, candidates can declare a preference for a party — even if the party prefers someone else.

Only 35 of 73 members of the 5th Legislative Democrats voted to endorse Spring at a Sept. 23 meeting. Endorsements from the organization require two-thirds support.

“I’ve been very critical of Democrats and Republicans for failing to fund schools,” Spring said.

The decision has not stopped the candidate.

“We’re simply going to move forward and do the best we can in the general election,” he said.

Spring and Anderson last faced off in the 2008 election. Though the House Democratic Campaign Committee attempted to work with Spring during the ’08 race, “we didn’t communicate very well,” committee Executive Director Tony Yuchasz said.

Battleground for Legislature runs through Issaquah

October 5, 2010

The battleground for control of the Legislature is on the shores of Lake Sammamish.

Republicans, re-energized after a decade of defeats and defections on the Eastside, hope to shift a handful of lakeside districts back into the GOP column. Incumbent Democrats promise difficult fights to hold the suburban territory in and near Issaquah.

Democrats hold sizeable majorities in Olympia. The party outnumbers Republicans 61-37 in the House of Representatives and 31-18 in the Senate. Gov. Chris Gregoire is also a Democrat.

The effort to change the political calculus is focused on House and Senate races in the 41st, 45th and 48th legislative districts — the upper-middle class communities arranged around Lake Sammamish.

“I think it’s probably a pretty safe bet that the Republicans will pick up some seats, but I don’t know how many,” Washington State University political science professor David Nice said. “My guess is that, no matter who ends up in majority status in either house of the Legislature that the majority is not going to be a very big one.”

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