Larry Wright states reasons for seeking city council seat

Larry Wright – Candidate for Sammamish City Council, Pos. 1

Larry Wright, a candidate for Sammamish City Council opposing Kathy Huckabay–the only contested seat in the race–provided me with the following statement of candidacy.

Sammamish is a great place to live; I want to help make it even better through fiscally sound policies that promote moderate growth while retaining the city’s unique charm and character.

As a father of two young children, I’d like more green space for them to play. As a homeowner, I want efficient public services that contribute to my home’s value.  As a consumer, I want to see more retail space.  As a taxpayer, I want my money spent wisely.  As a patron of the arts, I’d like to see our public spaces enriched with art.  As a daily commuter, I’d like to see traffic improved. As someone that has spent years working with children, I want more programs to help kids stay out of trouble. 

I am running for Sammamish City Council to ensure our high quality of life is available to residents for years to come.

I will be asking Wright, Huckabay and the unopposed candidates, Don Gerend, Bob Keller and Tom Odell, questions on issues for forthcoming columns. If readers have any particular questions you’d like to ask (within the bounds of civility), send them to me at and I’ll pose them.

Also from Wright:

Wright is the Managing Director of the Bellevue Arts Museum. Prior to joining the museum, he served as CEO of the National Mentoring Partnership in Washington, DC and as executive director of their Washington State affiliate, Washington State Mentors.

He sits on the boards of the College Success Foundation, Washington State Mentors, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound.  He is also a Commissioner on the State Charter School Commission.

He has lived in Sammamish since 2009 although his parents have been here since 1987. He is married and has two children.


Christine Malchow withdraws, Gerend now unopposed

I received word from Christine Malchow late Sunday that she has filed papers to withdraw her candidacy for Sammamish City Council. The move leaves incumbent Don Gerend unopposed for a fifth term.

Final City Council results

Well, almost. They won’t be completely counted until the end of today but this is, for all practical purposes, “it.” The City had a 52% turn-out, better than some other cities and worse than others. This is about normal for an off-year election for Sammamish.

One interesting note: the drop off from the top of the ballot (Whitten-Richardson) to the bottom (Vance-Bornfreund) was 6%. This is an unusually high number. Typically this ranges around 2%. The drop off is indicative of voters not wanting to vote for either candidate.

In the Valderrama-Wasnick race, the results were nearly in line with my prediction: that the 24% primary vote gained by John Galvin would pretty much evenly split between Valderrama (46%) and Wasnick (26%). It wasn’t quite 50-50 but it was very close. As I told a couple of interested parties, the math simply didn’t work for Wasnick. He had to win 24% plus one vote to win while Valderrama only had to gain 4% plus one. The strategy by some Wasnick supporters that 100% of Galvin’s vote would shift to Wasnick simply was fantasy land.

The final results were also very close to those on Election Night, as I also projected.

Ballots Cast/Registered Voters: * 14068 / 27117 51.88%
Council Position No. 2
Nancy Whitten 6485 53.84%
Kathy Richardson 5529 45.90%
Write-in 31 0.26%
Council Position No. 4
Ramiro Valderrama 6646 56.56%
Jim Wasnick 5076 43.20%
Write-in 29 0.25%
Council Position No. 6
Jesse Bornfreund 3622 31.91%
Tom Vance 7681 67.67%
Write-in 48 0.42%

Election Day-results around 8:15pm

Tuesday is election day. If you haven’t marked your ballot, don’t forget. And it has to be postmarked by EOB today.

Mail Posts in Sammamish have their last pick-ups around 3pm (double check to be sure) and the last drop-box pick-up at the Issaquah Post Office is shortly after 5pm. I believe there is a ballot drop box at the Issaquah Police Department (again, double check) with an 8pm deadline (double check).

Results will be posted by King County at 8:15. There will be two weeks worth of daily result updates.

Watch this blog Tuesday night for results and comment.

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.