Republican tide ebbs in Issaquah-area races

November 9, 2010

Both parties highlight successes in local contests

The national GOP tsunami carried Republicans into statehouses across the nation on Election Day, but in Washington, the wave amounted to little more than a gentle crest.

Republicans did not dislodge Democrats from majorities in the state Senate or state House of Representatives, but candidates faced a testier electorate, and Democrats face shrunken majorities in both chambers.

Despite strong candidates and a favorable political environment, Republicans did not reclaim a majority in Issaquah-area statehouse seats.

Democrats and Republicans trumpeted successes in the days after Election Day, as elections offices tallied the remaining ballots for statehouse contests.

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Local races remain unresolved as ballot count resumes for another week

November 7, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 7, 2010

King County Elections concluded four days of ballot counts Friday, but the latest batch of results did little to clarify the outcome in still-unresolved Issaquah-area races.

The elections office added 74,265 ballots to the tally Friday to bring the total number of ballots counted to 569,743. The office reports the next results at 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Since Election Day, the tight state Senate race in the 48th Legislative District seesawed to favor Democrat Rodney Tom.

The incumbent lagged behind Republican challenger Gregg Bennett on election night, but Tom has built a 1,010-vote lead in days since.

Democrat Ross Hunter, a 48th District representative, solidified a lead against Republican Diane Tebelius. The margin between the candidates increased to 1,824 votes by Friday.

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Dino Rossi trails in U.S. Senate race as count continues

November 3, 2010

Dino Rossi, U.S. Senate candidate, kisses wife Terry as children (from left) Jake, Joseph, Juliauna and Jillian look on during a GOP celebration in Bellevue Tuesday. By Greg Farrar

State Senate races remain too close to call

UPDATED — 5:55 p.m. Nov. 3, 2010

Republican Dino Rossi, a Sammamish resident and former Issaquah state senator, trailed incumbent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray by about 24,800 votes Wednesday afternoon, though the number could shift in the days ahead as mail ballots reach elections offices statewide.

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Statehouse incumbents appear to be headed for re-election

November 2, 2010

UPDATED — 9:20 p.m. Nov. 2, 2010

Incumbents in the race to represent Issaquah in Olympia — Republicans Glenn Anderson and Jay Rodne, and Democrat Judy Clibborn — pulled far ahead of opponents in initial election results released Tuesday night.

The representatives trounced little known or under-funded candidates to cruise to re-election.

Meanwhile, Democrat Marcie Maxwell appeared to be locked into a close contest against Republican Peter Dunbar to retain the state House of Representatives seat she clinched in 2008. The same scenario appeared to be the case for Democrat Randy Gordon and Republican Steve Litzow in a state Senate bout.

The measure to increase the King County sales tax rate to pay for criminal justice services trailed in early returns and a state liquor-privatization measure backed by Issaquah-based Costco lagged.

Republican Dino Rossi, a Sammamish resident and former Issaquah state senator, remained locked in a tight race against incumbent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, Democrat in a close fight for a fourth term.

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48th Legislative District candidates answer questions

October 12, 2010

Voters in the 48th Legislative District will decide a state House of Representatives state Senate races next month. Here, the candidates discuss a variety of local and state issues in 25 words or fewer.

Incumbent Democrat Ross Hunter faces Republican Diane Tebelius for a House seat. Incumbent Democrat Rodney Tom is running against Republican Gregg Bennett for a Senate seat.

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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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Register to vote in November election by Monday

September 30, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 30, 2010

In order to vote in the November election, Washington residents must register to vote by Monday.

To register, a person must be a U.S. citizen, a Washington resident, at least 18 by Election Day and not under the authority of the state Department of Corrections.

Voters do not have to register by political party or declare political party membership in order to vote in primary or general elections.

Find a full list of requirements and registration forms at King County Elections.

Issaquah voters will decide legislative, judicial and congressional races in the Nov. 2 election, plus a measure to raise the county sales tax rate.

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Incumbents earn high marks in Municipal League ratings

July 27, 2010

Issaquah residents face some good choices — and a few not-so-good options — in the primary election next month. Or so the Municipal League of King County has decided.

For the most part, Issaquah-area lawmakers fared better than the challengers campaigning against them in August and November. The league released the ratings July 19.

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, talk to references, review candidate questionnaires and interview the electoral hopefuls. The league rates candidates on four criteria: involvement, character, effectiveness and knowledge. Candidates then receive a grade ranging from the coveted outstanding to the less-desirable not qualified.

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Incumbents earn high marks in Municipal League election rankings

July 20, 2010

NEW — 11 a.m. July 20, 2010

Issaquah residents face some good choices — and a few not-so-good options — in the primary election next month. Or so the Municipal League of King County has decided.

For the most part, Issaquah-area lawmakers fared better than the challengers campaigning against them in August and November.

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

Evaluators scrutinize candidate records, talk to references, review candidate questionnaires and interview the electoral hopefuls. The league rates candidates on four criteria: involvement, character, effectiveness and knowledge. Candidates then receive a grade ranging from the coveted outstanding to the less-desirable not qualified.

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Republican candidates convene in Issaquah for campaign boot camp

June 29, 2010

Political candidates convened in Issaquah last week to learn how to be better campaigners and, perhaps someday soon, lawmakers.

The right-of-center Jennifer Dunn Leadership Institute recruits and readies potential candidates for office. The institute, a three-day course held through June 26 at the Issaquah Hilton Garden Inn, included Republican up-and-comers seeking state Senate and House of Representatives seats.

Think of the session as summer school for candidates, with the first test set for the Aug. 17 primary.

In addition to policy primers, the 23-member class took in lessons about government institutions, the political process and how to communicate to voters and journalists.

Instructors included state Rep. Kevin Parker, a popular Spokane Republican; staffers from the Washington Policy Center, a Seattle-based think tank; and Troy Nichols, policy director for the House GOP caucus.

Washington Democrats run a similar boot camp for candidates, the Institute for a Democratic Future.

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