Good candidates, good answers, rookie mistakes

  • Sammamish Comment recommendations for City Council candidates to advance to the November general election begins tomorrow.
  • A full report of the Candidates Forum is in the next post, below.

Commentary

Sammamish residents have an unusually good set of candidates this year from which to choose for the Aug. 1 primary, and from this, the November general election.

This hasn’t always been the case. In some years, some very weak candidates, or some with clear and self-evident personal agendas, ran. In several years, at least some incumbents were unopposed or had token opposition.

There are nine candidates seeking three Council seats, requiring a primary. These are in Positions 3, 5 and 7.

Position 3 candidates are Minal Ghassemieh, Karen Howe and Karen Moran.

Position 5 candidates are Ryika Hooshangi, Rituja Indapure and Chris Ross.

Position 7 candidates are Melanie Curtright, John Robinson and Pamela Stuart.

Position 1 candidates, Mark Baughman and Jason Ritchie, go straight to the November election; they are not on the Aug. 1 primary ballot.

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No break-out candidates in friendly City Council candidates forum

  • The City’s video of the City Council Candidates Forum will be played on the Sammamish website and YouTube channel after processing today.

By Scott Hamilton

There were no break-out candidates during the only Candidates Forum for the Sammamish City Council last night, although there were a few minor rookie mistakes.

Given today’s national political environment and the bitter City Council elections two years ago, last night’s forum was a marked contrast for its civility and friendly nature.

A standing room crowd was here to listen to the nine candidates for the three of four Positions that are contested in the Aug. 1 primary: 3, 5 and 7.

  • Position 3 candidates are Minal Ghassemieh, Karen Howe and Karen Moran.
  • Position 5 candidates are Ryika Hooshangi, Rituja Indapure and Chris Ross.
  • Position 7 candidates are Melanie Curtright, John Robinson and Pamela Stuart.

The candidates said traffic and development were the issues they most heard from resident during their campaigning.

Ross (Position 5) was the only candidate to hit hard on City finances, carving out a position that his professional finance background for Boeing will be needed as the City approaches the so-called cross-over point (operating deficits) in a few years. Others including Moran (Position 3), touched more lightly on finances.

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Position 7 Candidate Questionnaires today

Today Sammamish Comment publishes the candidate questionnaires of Position 7 for City Council.

Position 7

The candidates are Melanie Curtright, John Robinson and Pamela Stuart.

A fourth candidate, Roger Chapanis, dropped out of the race too late to remove his name from the ballot.

The candidate responses are printed verbatim. The Comment only checked their responses for spelling and grammar. Each response is in its own post, so scroll down on The Comment’s Home Page to see each response.

The responses were reviewed and processed by Scott Hamilton.

Democrats, Unions lining up behind some City Council candidates

Democratic elected officials and other known Democrats, plus several labor union organizations, are lining up behind several candidates in the Sammamish City Council primary.

The City Council is a non-partisan election, but it’s not at all unusual for the Democratic and Republican parties to endorse and even send mailers or undertake robocalls on behalf of candidates.

So far, the Republicans haven’t endorsed any of the candidates–at least none is listed on any of the candidate websites–except for King County Council Member Kathy Lambert.

Unlike the 2015 City Council election, the incumbents are largely staying out of this election. The exception: Kathy Huckabay, who is retiring at the end of her term in December. Huckabay publicly endorsed Jason Ritchie, who is running in Position 1. (Position 1 is not on the Aug. 1 primary ballot, however.)

Former Mayor Tom Vance, who was defeated in his bid for reelection in 2015, endorsed two candidates.

Behind the scenes, several Council Members are helping candidates.

A graphic of the elected officials and organization endorsements is below the jump.

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Paucity of local endorsements mark City Council races

The 11 active candidates running for Sammamish City Council have of local endorsements as the Aug. 1 primary closes in.

Some candidates have no endorsements listed on their web sites, which are also—for the most part—appallingly devoid of substantive discussion of their issues.

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