Who’s supporting whom in the Sammamish City Council Election

With Labor Day now past, electioneering will pick up in earnest for the City Council races.

A review of the Public Disclose Commission contribution filings gives a sense of the early support for the various candidates.

Position 2

Kathy Richardson vs Nancy Whitten

This is the seat currently held by Michele Petitti, who declined to run for another term. Whitten had held Position 4 but switched to 2.

Neither candidate as yet has reported much in the way of contributions. Whitten reports just $100, from herself. She largely self-funded her 2003 winning election but did bring in contributions from others then and in 2007. So far, there is nothing more to report.

Richardson hasn’t raised much money as yet: just $1,243, including $301 from in-kind contributions. The largest contribution is from Concentric 2 LLC, which according to state records is the business of David Collins of Lake Sammamish Parkway NE. Other contributors: David and Megan Gee, Ursula Geiger and Paul Oostmeyer.

Bob Brady of Sammamish, a commissioner on the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, has publicly endorsed Whitten.

Position 4

Jim Wasnick v Ramiro Valderamma

This is shaping up already to be the bitterest race that the city will see, with a whispering campaign of innuendos underway against Valderamma. One of those whispers is that he is running as a slate with Whitten and Tom Vance (Position 6). However, a review of the campaign contributions so far couldn’t be more representative of opposite ends of the spectrum.

Valderamma received money from the aforementioned Concentric 2 LLC, which is his largest contributor as with Richardson. He also received a contribution from the aforementioned Oostmeyer; Reid and Susan Brockway, Ginette Toskey (perhaps a relation to George Toskey) and (among others) the aforementioned David and Megan Gee.

The Brockways and George Toskey have been critical of a succession of city councils and, in the case of Toskey, the planning commission.

Kathy Huckabay, former city council member, also contributed to Valderamma. Lori Barnett, a frequent critic of the City Council over the barricade issue, has written letters to the editor supporting Valderamma and opposing Wasnick, who lives nearby her, Barnett and Wasnick were involved in the 32nd St. barricade issue. Barnett was critical of Wasnick’s role–and his chief campaign issue–in the barricades.

Overall, Valderamma’s contributions are from the center-right with the Huckabay exception (Huckabay has worked with Valderamma in the past on unspecified projects, according to her letter to the editor endorsing him) while Vance’s contributions (detailed below) are from the solid left.

Valderamma at this point raised $6,741, including $4,200 in-kind contributions.

Bob Brady and Huckabay have publicly endorsed Valderamma in letters to the editor.

Wasnick reports raising $5,165 with fully $4,000 of his own money in the form of a loan to the campaign. (Update, Sept. 6: Wasnick emailed me to clarify that this was not a loan, but a formal contribution to his own campaign.) He’s raised only $1,100 from five donors so far, including $800 (the maximum allowed) from Vanessa Collins. According to an Internet search, David Collins (contributor to Richardson and Valderamma) and Vanessa appear to be related.

Wasnick has the highly visible support of John Galvin. Galvin, Wasnick and Valderamma ran for Position 4 in the August primary. Galvin ran a poor third. Immediately following the results, Galvin and Wasnick praised each other and said each has the same “vision” for the city.

Wasnick also has the declared support of Mike Rutt in Reader Comments to the Sammamish Patch.

Position 6

Jesse Bornfreund v Tom Vance

Bornfruend so far only reports raising $2,441 including $1,091 in-kind. Concentric 2 LLC once again is the largest contributor. Mike Custom Care Care is the second largest with $350.

Vance has been much more prolific in fund-raising, reporting $5,014 including $2,500 in a personal loan to his campaign.

Contributors are from the city’s long-list of Democratic colleagues and environmental spectrum. Vance, one-time chairman of the 5th District Democratic organization (which includes Sammamish) received contributions from Dave Irons Sr. and Di Irons, both active in the organization at the time he was chairman; Bob Innis, Di’s husband; Janet Irons, Dave’s wife; and a whole host of contributors who share Democratic and environmental values. He also received a contribution from Huckabay, current council member Mark Cross and Bob Brady.

Also among his contributors: Harry and Clara Shedd, who also contributed to Valderamma.

Brady endorsed Vance in a letter to the editor.

Bottom Line:

It’s still very early in the campaign–there are two months to go before the election–and more contributions and letters to the editors will further reveal support for the candidates. At this stage, here’s what appears to be the case:

Common contributors appear most apparent for Richardson, Bornfreund and Valderamma; there is some cross-over of common contributors between Vance and Valderamma, but Valderamma has a much broader spectrum of support from bi-partisan, property rights and environmental interests, suggesting overall a centrist outlook; Richardson, Wasnick and Bornfreund have yet to show broad-base support; and Whitten hasn’t done anything for fundraising yet.

The whispering campaign that Valderamma is running as part of a slate with Whitten and Vance is belied by the contributors’ list. In fact, as best I have been able to determine so far, no slates have emerged. Bornfreund and Wasnick shared a booth at the city’s 4th of July event, however.

3 thoughts on “Who’s supporting whom in the Sammamish City Council Election

  1. I am new (well not too new) to your postings and am very impressed. Obvously you have insights that are beyond my ken and therefore, I turn to you for some enlightenment
    Specifically, it has puzzled (made me suspicious) as to why Whitten moved her candidacy from position 4 (long occupied by her, too long perhaps) to position 2. Is there more prestige, perhaps, in being in position 2 than in 4. Frankly it fans the idea of a slate effort proffered by you.

    • I can only surmise: Richardson would have been unopposed and there would have been four people in the primary for position 4.

  2. Pingback: Pettiness from the Wasnick campaign « Sammamish Comment

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