Mercer Island Beach Club to host candidate forums; School Board candidate leaving race | Election news

The Mercer Island Beach Club invited local candidates for office to share their ideas and answer questions leading up to the November general election.

The evening sessions are dedicated to Mercer Island’s City Council and School Board elections. All MIBC members and accompanying guests are welcome, and the meetings will be open to the press and public.

“The purpose of the events is to foster a more informed community and to have a chance to meet and hear from those that are seeking to represent us,” according to the club.

Council candidates Mark Coen and Benson Wong will speak at a forum from 7-8 p.m. on Sept. 28, while Joy Langley and Tom Acker will debate from 8-9 p.m. on Oct. 16, following a discussion between the School Board candidates from 7-8 p.m.

Brian Giannini Upton and Caifeng Wu are running for School Board Director Position 2, though Wu cannot attend the Oct. 16 forum.

Diana Lein recently announced that she was withdrawing from the race for School Board Director Position 4, and would endorse her opponent Deborah Lurie, who won the primary for the race in August.

“Due to the rapidly failing health of my elderly parents and the demands of an exciting new job I have decided that I cannot best serve our island community at this time and have decided to withdraw from the School Board race,” she wrote in an email to the Reporter. “I have known Deborah Lurie for 11+ years and she has my full support. I truly appreciate the outpouring of support I have received during this race and plan on continuing to serve the students in our district as I have for these last few years.”

Lein will stop campaigning for the race, but her name will likely still appear on the ballot on Nov. 7. May 22 was the deadline for candidates to withdraw from the election. Ballots will be mailed on Oct. 18.

“I truly want to serve the district and this was a very difficult decision, but I believe the right one for me at this time,” Lein wrote.

For more on the general election, see