Mercer Island School Board seat on ballot remains contested, despite candidate drop out

There may be two names for the Mercer Island School Board Director Position 4 on the general election ballot, but residents should only pay attention to one — Deborah Lurie.

This is because Lurie’s opponent, Diana Lein, dropped out of the race in September. However, Lein’s name will still appear on Mercer Island ballots when they’re mailed out on Wednesday, even though she is not running for office. King County Elections’ deadline for candidates to officially withdraw from the race was 18 days prior to the primary election in August.

State law does not permit the county to remove names from the ballot.

“I think it’s important that [residents] are educated that this is still a contested election despite the fact that my opponent has announced that she has withdrawn,” Lurie said in an email, noting her concern that she hopes voters will not be confused by this.

Her opponent also endorsed Lurie for the seat.

Lurie, a longtime Mercer Island resident, said her passionate advocacy skills she has developed through her work as a trial lawyer have taught her to listen carefully, know every child has unique needs, think on her feet, consider all viewpoints and to “never shy away from the need to make critical, life-changing decisions.”

“I believe that our kids deserve a fully-funded public education with the most qualified teachers possible and I believe that I am the best candidate for school board director to make that happen,” Lurie added. “I appreciate your support.”

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