Winners and Losers in Sammamish’s David v Goliath city council election

  • This is a very long post.

By Scott Hamilton

Guest Contributor


The 2019 Sammamish City Council election turned out to be the classic David vs Goliath fight.

The supporters of Karen McKnight, Rituja Indapure and Karen Howe (the McK3) amassed a record amount of money to defeat incumbent Christie Malchow and her allies, Ken Gamblin and Kent Treen (the M3).

Supporters of the McK3 were determined to defeat Malchow in particular, as well as the two “Ks”. They wanted to take over the city council with a 5-2 majority, or at the very least, a 4-3 majority, to push forward with the Town Center—potentially up zoning it and removing height restrictions. They wanted to weaken traffic concurrency standards, which would have the effect of loosening development potential in the rest of the city.

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Sammamish Chamber of Commerce presses on with a controversial candidate forum, ignores candidates’ concerns over impartiality

By Miki Mullor

  • Three candidates voice concern over apparent bias
  • Chamber’s President is a candidate opposing Mayor Malchow
  • The proposed moderator contributed funds to a candidate’s campaign, heard saying that city council needs to change
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Indapure jumps to early, big lead in fund raising

Sammamish City Council Position 6 candidate Rituja Indapure jump to an early and big lead in fund raising, according to reports filed through Wednesday with the Washington Public Disclosure Commission.

Indapure raised nearly $18,300 from 87 contributions. Fifty-six percent of the contributors come from within Sammamish.

Karen McKnight, candidate for Position 2 opposing incumbent Christie Malchow, is a distance second fund raiser, with $3,641 listed in her PDC filing.

Malchow is fourth at $1,910. Kent Treen, running for Position 4, is third, with $2,100 in contributions.

The others haven’t reported raising any money yet.

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Politics kills plans to video Sammamish candidates forum for broadcast on City’s TV station

  • Sammamish Chamber of Commerce, Rotary cite politics in banning videotaping for later broadcast of candidates forum.
  • Sammamish Kiwanis Club beset by political concerns.
  • Candidates object to videotaping, says Rotary official.
  • Discussions continue, says Chamber, cites Rotary opposition.
  • Four of five candidates favor taping and broadcasting.
  • Mayor/Candidate Tom Vance silent on the issue.

There will be a Sammamish City Council candidates forum the evening of October 7 at the Boys and Girls Club (Inglewood Hill Road at 228th Ave. NE), but it won’t be videotaped for later broadcast on the City’s government TV (Channel 21, Comcast).

Objections by a “couple” of candidates to videotaping and concerns to do so would politicize the event led the Sammamish Chamber of Commerce and the Sammamish Rotary to ban videotaping, CJ Kahler, treasurer of the Rotary, told Sammamish Comment.

The candidates are:

  • Christie Malchow vs Mark Cross of Position 2. Neither is an incumbent. They are running for the seat now held by the retiring Nancy Whitten.
  • Ramiro Valderrama vs. Hank Klein, Position 4. Valderrama is running for a second term. Klein filed to oppose him, but dropped out of the race two months later, too late to remove his name from the ballot. Klein reconfirmed to Sammamish Comment Wednesday he is not a candidate, won’t be at the forum and he won’t reenter the race at any time.
  • Tom Hornish vs Tom Vance, Position 6. Vance, currently the mayor, is running for a second term.

Kahler said he didn’t talk to the candidates and doesn’t know who objected. Malchow, Valderrama and Hornish say it wasn’t them. Cross reportedly favors taping. Vance’s position in unknown.

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