Senate is familiar territory for Sammamish’s Dino Rossi

July 17, 2012

State Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson (left) administers the oath of office to former and current state Sen. Dino Rossi, R-Sammamish. Washington Senate Republicans

The next senator for the 5th Legislative District also held the post before the most recent occupant.

Republican Dino Rossi, a Sammamish resident, represented Issaquah in Olympia from 1997 until December 2003. In January 2004, Republican Cheryl Pflug succeeded Rossi and, after Pflug resigned to accept a state board post, King County Council members returned Rossi to the state Senate.

Rossi is not expected to serve for long. The next senator — either Mark Mullet, a Democrat and Issaquah City Council member, or Republican Brad Toft, a Snoqualmie businessman — is due to assume office in late November, after King County Elections certifies the Nov. 6 election results.

Rossi is not a candidate for the seat and, besides, after the November election, the political boundaries for Rossi’s neighborhood shift into the 45th Legislative District due to redistricting.

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Ballots for August primary to reach voters soon

July 10, 2012

Ballots should start to arrive in King County voters’ mailboxes in the days ahead.

The summer primary — bumped up to Aug. 7 to accommodate military and overseas voters — allows local voters a chance to decide a property tax measure and cull the field in federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.

The electorate selects the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

In the 5th Legislative District, voters must narrow the field of Republican Chad Magendanz, Democrat David Spring and independent candidate Ryan Burkett in the race for a state House of Representatives seat.

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Candidates receive boost from Municipal League of King County

July 10, 2012

Issaquah candidates for the Legislature received top marks from the Municipal League of King County, as the nonpartisan organization ranked candidates a little more than a month before the Aug. 7 primary.

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, check references, review candidate questionnaires and interview the electoral hopefuls. The league rates candidates on a set of criteria: involvement, character, effectiveness and knowledge.

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Issaquah candidates receive boost in Municipal League rankings

July 2, 2012

NEW — 1 p.m. July 2, 2012

Issaquah candidates for the Legislature received top marks from the Municipal League of King County, as the nonpartisan organization ranked candidates a little more than a month before the Aug. 7 primary.

In the 5th Legislative District, state Senate candidate Mark Mullet and state House of Representatives candidate Chad Magendanz impressed Muni League evaluators.

Mullet, a Democrat and Issaquah City Council member, earned a very good rating from the group. The league ranked Mullet’s GOP opponent, Snoqualmie businessman Brad Toft, as good.

Magendanz, a Republican and Issaquah School Board member, received a coveted outstanding rating from the Muni League.

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Local legislator Steve Litzow invites constituents to telephone ‘town hall’

June 6, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 6, 2012

Constituents can join state Sen. Steve Litzow for a telephone “town hall” meeting to discuss the recent legislative sessions.

The discussion is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. June 13 and last for 60 minutes. Litzow plans to take constituents’ questions and share views about the recent legislative sessions throughout the discussion.

Litzow represents the portion of Issaquah in the 41st Legislative District — Cougar Mountain and areas west of 12th Avenue Northwest. However, after the 2011 redistricting goes into effect after the November election, the district should encompass more of Issaquah.

Call the toll-free number at 1-877-229-8493 and enter the code 110085 at the prompt. Constituents can direct questions before and after the event to Litzow’s office via email at steve.litzow@leg.wa.gov, or by phone at 453-3076.

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Issaquah business, government leaders welcome U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert

June 4, 2012

NEW — 3:30 p.m. June 4, 2012

Issaquah business and government leaders greeted U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert on Monday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the congressman’s Issaquah district office.

In March, the GOP congressman opened the office in a Southeast 56th Street office building uphill from East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast.

The relocation reflects changes in the 8th Congressional District precipitated last year by redistricting. The redrawn district stretches from Auburn in South King County to Wenatchee in Chelan County.

The former district encompassed only communities in King and Pierce counties. Reichert used to operate a district office in Mercer Island, but redistricting shifted Mercer Island into the 9th Congressional District.

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Campaign season starts as candidates file for election

May 22, 2012

The ballot voters receive in the mailbox by late July is all but certain to contain some familiar names, as elected officials campaign for higher offices and other candidates try another run for elected office.

The period for candidates to enter races up for election on the August and November ballots ended May 18 in a buzz of activity.

Local voters face choices in countywide, legislative, statewide and federal offices.

Voters pick the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, Aug. 7 in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

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King County mails voter registration cards to reflect redistricting changes

May 22, 2012

King County Elections is mailing updated voter registration cards to all King County voters.

The elections office started sending the cards May 21. The cards identify a voter’s precinct, and congressional, legislative and King County Council districts. Many districts changed late last year due to post-Census 2010 redistricting.

The recent redistricting affected more than 600,000 of the 1.1 million registered voters in the county.

Officials plan to mail ballots for the Aug. 7 primary election July 18, so mailing the voter registration cards in May allows time for the county to update records before the primary.

Voters can reach the elections office at www.kingcounty.gov/elections. Or call 206-296-VOTE. Visit elections headquarters at 919 S.W. Grady Way, Renton.

Supreme Court upholds state redistricting plan

May 8, 2012

The state Supreme Court has authorized use of the redrawn political boundaries for upcoming elections, even as a citizen challenge to the Washington State Redistricting Commission’s maps continues to proceed.

The bipartisan commission responsible for reshaping the districts spent 2011 redrawing legislative and congressional districts. State legislators then made minor modifications and the plan entered into effect Feb. 7.

Vancouver resident John Milem filed a challenge against the redistricting plan Feb. 8. The longtime redistricting observer contended the reshaped maps granted too much power to Western Washington counties.

Commissioners divided Issaquah between the 5th and 41st legislative districts to determine representation in Olympia, and kept the city in a reshaped 8th Congressional District for federal representation.

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Issaquah legislators top list for missed votes

May 1, 2012

Local legislators missed the most votes in the Legislature during the 2012 regular and special sessions.

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