With big advantages, Jason Ritchie nearly sweeps Sammamish precincts: analysis

Jason Ritchie

Jason Ritchie won Position 1 on the Sammamish City Council with 57.1% of the vote. His opponent, Mark Baughman, won just six precincts of 61.

The outcome of the Nov. 7 general election could not be predicted because there was no primary contest for Position 1 to gauge the vote, as there was in the other three City Council races.

Ritchie the favorite

But Sammamish Comment believed Ritchie was the favorite going into the general election because in November 2016, he won the greater Klahanie area with about 60% of the vote in his challenge against incumbent Republican State Rep. Jay Rodne. The Comment endorsed Baughman, however, for his broader experience in construction and knowledge of bids at a time when Sammamish faces more than $100m in transportation projects.

Click on image for a crisp view.

Ritchie lives in Klahanie.

With this base, Ritchie had name recognition, a record of winning votes and a desire by Klahanie to have its first representation on the Sammamish City Council.

Klahanie was annexed to Sammamish in January 2015, but in a controversial move, the Council then didn’t effect the “political” annexation until after that year’s election.

Breakdown by the Legislative Districts in Sammamish. Click on image for a crisp view.

Ritchie won the Council election by a 2,141 vote city-wide; 541 of these came from Klahanie.

Baughman was unknown going into the race and made a big strategic error by choosing what’s called “mini-reporting” under state law for his campaign. This meant he couldn’t raise more or spend more than $5,000. Based on questioning from Sammamish Comment, it appears he raised and spent considerably less than this.

Nor did Baughman seek endorsements to demonstrate he had broad support across the City. Unable to spend money to get his message out and build name recognition, door-belling was the alternative—and it’s not clear how much of this he did.

The map and charts tell the story.

Baughman should apply for one of the open spots on the Planning Commission. Deadline is Dec. 15.

4 thoughts on “With big advantages, Jason Ritchie nearly sweeps Sammamish precincts: analysis

  1. Or, alternatively, Ritchie won the majority of the vote because the voters of Sammamish felt he was better qualified? There is always that possibility, right? You seem to be looking for excuses for Baughman’s loss, when the map just tells me that Ritchie was the favored candidate and it could be because they liked what they heard from him.

    I enjoy the Sammamish Comment for its reporting but occasionally a non-journalistic bias comes through. It snuck out against Pam Stuart and I’m seeing it here as well. Please be aware of it.

    Thank you.

    • We were hardly easy on John Robinson. Furthermore, having been involved in Sammamish elections since the incorporation vote in 1998, I think I have a good handle on the whys and what-fors in voting patterns. I call them as I see them.


  2. As a correction to your statements above, Mark was endorsed by the Eastside Business Roundtable, the Issaquah Sammamish Reporter and several HOAs. I know he knocked on many doors. He ran a very competitive race and worked hard for votes. I wouldn’t minimize his efforts.

    • Thanks, Jason. Not much was on his website in the way of endorsements.

      As noted, he should apply for Planning Commission; Dec 15 is the deadline.

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