Only Position 6 for the Kirkland City Council offers voters a clear choice for the primary, incumbent Dave Asher. Position 2 features a distracted incumbent, an untested challenge, and a third candidate, who is not competing.
KIRKLAND’S annexation of the Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate neighborhoods was official in June. Fully including them in the city is a work in progress.
The city added more than 31,000 new residents and approximately seven square miles of largely residential area. City Hall is ramping up to meet expectations, with expanded police and fire coverage.
City Council races on the November ballot will also round out how new and old of Kirkland politics, land use and community development are blended.
Two races are officially listed as contested on the August ballot, though one candidate declared his intent to withdraw.
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Position 2 features incumbent Bob Sternoff, who attracted attention in 2009 with an embarrassing kerfuffle about emailing messages to a girlfriend during council meetings. Lots of emails.
He is challenged by a newcomer to civic life, Jason Gardiner. He wants to step into public service and bring a fresh look and energy to the council from his newly annexed Kingsgate neighborhood.
A third candidate, Chuck Hinson, is on the ballot, though not competing or campaigning.
No endorsement is offered for now. Gardiner needs to get out and convince the community he is ready for the job. Sternoff has to make the case he has overcome the apparent ennui and distractions of his current term.
Position 6 is a straightforward endorsement of longtime incumbent Dave Asher, from the North Rose Hill neighborhood. Neither of his opponents, Martin Morgan or James A. Hart, represents a credible alternative or challenge to Asher’s experience and service.