Valderrama, Vance and Whitten win

Note: Future results updates are available at the King County Elections website here.

The State’s Initiatives website results are here.

The Election Night tally, published about 8:15pm by King County Elections, provided the following results:

Position 2

Nancy Whitten               3,228     53.55%

Kathy Richardson         2,787    46.23%

Position 4

Ramiro Valderrama     3,345     56.47%

Jim Wasnick                    2,566      43.32%

Position 6

Jesse Bornfreund          1,833       31.96%

Tom Vance                      3,883       67.70%

Final results won’t be available until November 30. How, then, can I “call” the winners?

In every electoral race except one since Sammamish was incorporated in 1998, the results posted on Election Night mirrored the final results, within one or two percentage points. The sole exception was the 2001 race between Nancy Whitten and incumbent Ken Kilroy. Whitten led by 17 votes on Election night but lost by fewer than 150 votes when the final tally was in.

The County will post results updates daily; the link of the schedule is here (generally 4:30pm every work day). I’ll be watching the daily results and will update as well.

What do the results mean?

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Council results repudiate “pave-it-over” Town Center ambitions

Two property owners in the Sammamish Town Center tried to frame this election as an up-or-down referendum of sorts on the Town Center Plan adopted by the City Council.

John Galvin and Mike Rutt, the former the most visible advocate for a pave-it-over approach to the Town Center, and both failed candidates for City Council in the past advocating for a massively up-scaled Town Center plan, clearly persuaded Jim Wasnick and Jesse Bornfreund to make a full review of the plan their top campaign priority.

Both candidates lost, and lost big.

Once again, the citizens have spoken. Time and time and time again since the Planning Advisory Board first proposed six commercial “villages” only to have massive opposition at a community meeting that drew an estimated 200 people, and from the 2001 election in which Nancy Whitten campaigned on an anti-village platform and came within a whisker of beating a complacent Ken Kilroy, citizens have said they prefer a modest Town Center plan to the huge ambitions proposed by Galvin and his fellow land-owners.

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Seven days and counting to the election

A week from today is Election Day.

Here are my observations going into the final countdown:

Position 2

Ramiro Valderrama vs Jim Wasnick

Valderrama and Wasnick are the most active campaigners of the six in this election. I see these two out and about sign-waving. Wasnick often appears in front of the super-markets pressing the flesh. Valderamma prefers Starbucks for mini-conversations. This remains the most hotly contested race, but I think Valderrama has the edge going into the final stretch. There remains the prospect of further smear tactics against Valderrama, however, that we all saw a few weeks ago, in a last minute, desperate attempt to sway voters.

Position 4

Kathy Richardson vs Nancy Whitten

Richardson is trying hard to make up for her three week absence during a critical part of the campaign. She had a long-planned trip to Africa solidified before she became a candidate. But this absence, coupled with a lackluster campaign before she left, leaves this race had to predict. Whitten continues her “Living Room” strategy, campaigning (if you can call it that) from her living room. Richardson is sign-waving and so are her supporters while Whitten hides in her living room, as she did in the 2001, 2003 and 2007 elections, willing to go to candidate forums but otherwise unwilling to press the flesh.

Position 6

Jesse Bornfreund vs Tom Vance

If Whitten created the Living Room strategy, Vance this year has adopted it, as we’ve written in the past. Nothing has changed here.

Bornfreund emerged to continue to joint appearances with Wasnick at the supermarket but otherwise is largely out-of-sight, out-of-mind. This is Vance’s race to lose (which was also the case in 2009 when he did lose).

Election Night

King County only reports once on election night, at around 8:15pm. Historically these results mirror the final one two weeks later. I’ll be watching and posting on election night.

Final pre-election look-see at contributions

The Sammamish Review beat me to it with this article looking at campaign contributions. This would have been my last look prior to the election.

As I’ve previously noted, the contributions make bunk of John Galvin’s silly claims that Ramiro Valderrama is back by the “old guard.” In fact, he is back mostly by the same people who support Kathy Richardson, not the traditional “old guard” who back Tom Vance. Vance has not demonstrated he can reach out across ideological or varied interests to garner support and reach consensus, the latter’s inability being a major failing as chairman of the planning commission.

Jim Wasnick and Jesse Bornfreund are largely self-funding their campaigns, demonstrating little broad support.

A final election wrap: Valderrama, Richardson, Vance are preferred

The election ballots will be received in the mail shortly and Sammamish voters will be choosing three council members. Who do they choose?

I’ve written quite a bit about the election in the recent weeks. Now it’s down to crunch time.

This the most disappointing council election I have seen in this city since the first one in 1999. The whispering campaign from the Jim Wasnick camp against Ramiro Valderrama began before the primary votes were fully counted. Despite his denials, there is ample evidence that Wasnick himself was actively involved and the whispers weren’t limited to his supporters, who were more interested in smears than in issues.

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