It looks as if many Islanders running for public office will continue campaigning into the fall after advancing to the general election as the winners or runners-up in the primary held last Tuesday.
In the race for state representative, which Fred Jarrett is vacating after serving four terms, Renton resident Marcie Maxwell, a Democrat, led Mercer Island’s current City Councilmember Steve Litzow. Maxwell was ahead by as many as 1,500 votes, leading roughly 53 to 47 percent.
In the open seat for the Island’s state senate office, former Representative Jarrett held a withstanding 20 percent lead over his opponent, Bob Baker, also an Islander. By Monday, Jarrett, the Democratic candidate, had received 5,000 votes more and was ahead 59 to 41 percent over his Republican contestant. Baker still advances to the general election in November as there are only two candidates. Current Rep. Judy Clibborn is running unopposed.
Maxwell said she felt good about the results and that it was comforting she won.
“We have a solid lead coming out of the primary and we are looking for a win in November,” Maxwell said. “We have been out meeting voters everyday and getting our message out and we’ve got a great response. I am very appreciative of the voters’ support.”
As of the latest count from the Secretary of State’s office, more than 39 percent of an expected 40 percent voter turnout was counted across Washington.
The rematch for the Island’s Congressional representative seems to be a repeat of the hotly contested race two years ago, as the incumbent Republican Congressman Dave Reichert leads his Democratic challenger, Darcy Burner, by only 4 percent of the vote. Reichert received about 48.5 percent, ahead by 5,700 votes.
On Burner’s Web site, she wrote that “Tuesday proved what we already knew: we are engaged in one of the closest House races in the entire country.” Her site also acknowledged that the total votes going to all of the Democrats on the primary ballot combined, was more than 50 percent. Reichert, however, was immediately endorsed by the second-leading Democrat, James Vaugh, who received slightly more than 4,300 votes, or 3.4 percent. A campaign spokesperson for Reichert stated that they expect those votes would go to the incumbent in November.
In another rematch, Gov. Chris Gregoire had a 2 percent lead over Republican challenger, Dino Rossi. Gregoire has received more than 48 percent of the vote, ahead by about 27,600 votes.
Two Island women running for the county superior court bench also showed promise of winning, with one of the pair of friends leading her race and the other in second. Regina Cahan has 50.5 percent of the vote going in her favor. Superior Court judges that receive more than 50 percent in the primary are declared the victors for the general election. Cahan’s close friend, Islander Sue Parisien was in second place for Superior Court Judge Position 1. Parisien is only trailing the leader, Tim Bradshaw, who received 46 percent of the vote. Susan Amini is currently in third. She is behind Parisien by about 5 percent.
Another Island attorney seeking the State Supreme Court is still trailing the first-term incumbent he is trying to unseat this November. Michael J. Bond is down about 40 percent but will advance without a third candidate in the race. Another Islander seeking the state Supreme Court, Frank Vulliet, only received 10 percent of the vote in his race, trailing the incumbent Charles Johnson and another challenger, James Beecher.
A county initiative that would bring a charter amendment before voters this fall seems to have won with a strong showing of support from voters. Initiative 26 asked voters if a measure to change county councilmember positions from partisan to nonpartisan. If the primary results hold up, the final vote will be taken in November.