First results: Ritchie, Moran, Ross, Stuart win City Council seats; Lambert reelected; Dems win 45th LD

Jason Ritchie, Karen Moran, Chris Ross and Pam Stuart are projected winners of the Sammamish City Council seats.

Kathy Lambert has been reelected to a fifth term on the King County Council. Democrats flipped the State Senate seat for the 45th Legislative District.

Indications are there may have been an unusually heavy turnout for a City Council election.

So far, 26% of the ballots have been returned. By the time the last ballot is counted after Thanksgiving, typically the return about doubles. There are 36,136 registered voters in Sammamish. Typically, a City Council election sees a turnout of 40%-45%.

City Manager Lyman Howard announced at 7:20pm tonight during the Council meeting that the ballot drop box at City Hall had been emptied a couple of times today.

Historically, election night results vary only a point or two from certified results. The margins are wide enough in every race to enable Sammamish Comment to project winners.

Sammamish City Council

Jason Ritchie

Ritchie, running for public office for the third time, won Position 1 against Mark Baughman, Ritchie is also the first Council Member to be from the Greater Klahanie area, which was annexed to the City in January 2015. But the Council then didn’t effect the “political” annexation, so today is the first Council election in which the area residents could vote.

Karen Moran

Moran, running for the City Council a third time, is projected to win this time for Position 3. Moran barely bested Karen Howe in the August primary, leading by only 72 votes and less than one percentage point. She leads tonight by a comfortable seven percentage points.

Chris Ross

Ross, who drew 48% of the vote in the primary and was 18.5 percentage point ahead of Rituja Indapure, easily won Position 5.

Stuart, who won 52% of the primary vote, leading John Robinson by 20 percentage points, won a landslide victory for Position 7.

Pam Stuart

Four of seven seats were up for election this year and none of the incumbents sought reelection. This is the largest influx of new blood in a single election since the first one in 1999. Positions 1, 3, 5 and 7 were up.

The newcomers join incumbents Ramiro Valderrama, who now becomes the senior Council Member, Tom Hornish and Christie Malchow, who are in the second year of their first four-year term.

The first thing the new Council must do after it takes office in January is select a mayor and deputy mayor. The mayor serves two years and the deputy one year. Malchow currently is deputy mayor. Valderrama previously served twice as deputy mayor during his first term.

King County District 3

King County District 3 includes all of Sammamish and adjacent areas of unincorporated

Kathy Lambert

King County, Issaquah, North Bend and lots of rural areas. It’s been Republican since its creation. This is officially a non-partisan office but the Republican and Democratic parties lined up behind each candidate in this election.

Incumbent Kathy Lambert, a Republican, was seeking reelection to her fifth term. She was challenged by John Murphy of North Bend, a fire fighter.

45th Legislative District

Manka Dhingra

The 45th includes the northern half of Sammamish, roughly along SE 8th St.

A special election to fill the remaining term of the late State Sen. Andy Hill, a Republican, went to Democrat Manka Dhingra, flipping control of the Senate to the Ds.

Democrats now control the Senate, House and governor’s office in Washington State.

More than $8.5m was spent in this state senate race, clearly a record.

Dhingra, a prosecutor with King County, went into the general election a heavy favorite. She polled about 10 points better than her opponent, Jingyoung Lee Englund.

Even though Hill, who died a year ago last month, was a Republican and had been reelected once, the district trended Democrat. Both House seats are held by Democrats.

Counting the votes

King County Elections will report results daily except weekends and the Thursday-Friday Thanksgiving holiday. Results are certified Nov. 28.

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