Issaquah residents defied trends in November election

December 14, 2010

The ballot measure to create a state income tax failed just about everywhere outside of left-leaning Seattle and Vashon Island — except for a precinct nestled along Lake Sammamish.

Initiative 1098 received ironclad support — 80 percent — in the precinct. The catch: King County records indicate the precinct has 11 registered voters; 10 participated in the Nov. 2 election.

The information about the Lake Sammamish precinct comes from a detailed analysis of the precinct results in the recent election. (Issaquah is carved into 30 precincts.)

The neighborhood-level data — released a month after the election — illustrates how the Issaquah electorate bucked state trends on some issues and rejected incumbents even as the candidates cruised to re-election.

The dueling liquor initiatives on the ballot, 1100 and 1105, received uneven support from Issaquah voters.

Initiative 1100, a liquor privatization measure backed by Issaquah-based Costco — the largest employer in the city — received broad backing in the city even as the measure came up short statewide.

Initiative 1105 failed in every Issaquah precinct and only managed to garner 35 percent of the vote statewide.

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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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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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Judicial candidates face tough caseload

October 12, 2010

Crammed onto the ballot alongside the marquee race for U.S. Senate and high-profile initiatives is another important decision.

The electorate in Issaquah and broad stretch of northeastern King County faces a choice next month to pick a pair of King County District judges.

The race for the Position 6 seat features appointed Judge Michael Finkle and Issaquah attorney John L. O’Brien. Redmond City Prosecutor Larry Mitchell is running against Newcastle attorney Donna Tucker for the Position 7 seat.

The contests mark the first elections for both nonpartisan positions. King County Council members — backed by the state — increased the number of District Court judges last year to address a burgeoning caseload.

District Court handles misdemeanor criminal cases, drunken driving offenses and traffic infractions, requests for domestic violence protection orders, small claims and some civil cases.

The court is on track for a record year of more than 253,000 filings by the end of December.

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Press Editorial

October 12, 2010

Tucker, O’Brien for District Court judges

Few voters know just who to vote for when it comes to judicial candidates on their ballot. The closer to home, the more important the vote is — these are the judges you may very well meet for traffic tickets to misdemeanors.

The ballots this year include four choices for two District Court positions in the Northeast Division. Both of our recommended choices — Donna Tucker and John O’Brien — are preferred for the diversity of experience they bring to the job.

Tucker and Larry Mitchell are vying for Position 7.

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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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Issaquah attorney enters race for judge

July 6, 2010

Issaquah attorney John L. O’Brien plans to challenge appointed District Court Judge Michael Finkle in the race to be judge in the Northeast Division of King County District Court, candidate filing records show.

The division includes Issaquah, Sammamish, Bellevue, Redmond, Woodinville and parts of unincorporated King County.

Voters will cast ballots in the race in the Aug. 17 primary election.

King County Council members appointed Finkle to the bench Feb. 22. The council created the position last year to address increasing District Court caseloads.

The court — the largest court of limited jurisdiction in the state — has responsibility for traffic infractions, certain civil matters and misdemeanor criminal offenses in unincorporated King County, contract cities and for the adjudication of state offenses — violations of state statute in the county or when the arresting agency is the Washington State Patrol or another state law enforcement agency.

District Court caseloads have increased each year since 2003; officials expect the caseload to increase further through 2011. Because of the increase in cases, the state Administrative Office of the Court — tasked with advising the Legislature about the number of judicial positions needed in each county — recommended for the number of King County District Court judges to be increased.

King County Council appoints new judge to Issaquah division

March 2, 2010

King County Council members last week appointed Michael Finkle to serve as a judge in the Northeast Division of King County District Court. The division includes Issaquah, Sammamish, Bellevue, Redmond, Woodinville and parts of unincorporated King County. Read more