Since May, The Seattle Times editorial board has been interviewing dozens of candidates for select races throughout King County — as well as advocating for and against statewide ballot measures. Here are the board’s endorsements. For more information about the endorsement process, read Kate Riley’s column.

Jump to endorsements for:

 

 

Referendum Measure No. 88

R-88 would affirm a new law the Legislature passed this spring that seeks to guarantee equal opportunity and access to public institutions and business without discrimination based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability or military status.

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Initiative Measure No. 976

Tim Eyman's latest ballot initiative would have catastrophic effects for Washington's road and rail networks. Voters should reject the false promises of I-976.

Read our recommendation →

 

 

Senate Joint Resolution No. 8200

While it is always advisable to be cautious when amending the constitution, in this case the rationale is clear. Vote “approved” on SJR 8200.

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State Advisory vote

The dozen advisory votes on this year’s ballot are purely advisory — feedback for the lawmakers on tax decisions they made. Regardless of whether voters choose to repeal or maintain a tax increase, the decisions are already in law.

Read our recommendation →

 

 

King County

Julie Wise, King County Elections Director

Wise is a seasoned veteran with nearly two decades’ experience in nearly every aspect of King County elections. She is an avowed nonpartisan with a palpable passion for her work.

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Larry Gossett, Metropolitan King County Council, District 2

Strengths: A civil-rights leader since the late 1960s, Gossett continues to be a strong advocate for communities of color and working people. Since 1993, he has represented District 2, which straddles Seattle's richest and poorest neighborhoods, from Laurelhurst to Renton between Interstate 5 and Lake Washington.

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Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Metropolitan King County Council, District 4

Strengths: Voters in northwest Seattle would benefit from the substantial district knowledge, fiscal expertise and demonstrated legislative skills that Jeanne Kohl-Welles offers on the Metropolitan King County Council.

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Claudia Balducci, Metropolitan King County Council, District 6

Strengths:A former Bellevue mayor and attorney who worked 16 years in the county detention system, Balducci is deeply knowledgeable about regional governance. She is pragmatic, thoughtful and well versed in the biggest challenges confronting the County Council.

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Joe McDermott, Metropolitan King County Council, District 8

Strengths: McDermott brings experience and skills at collaborating and advancing policy. He spent a decade in the Legislature before he was elected to the council in 2010. During the recent debates over how to divvy up lodging-tax revenue, McDermott was a pragmatic voice, defending the need for balancing investments in economic development, public infrastructure and housing.

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King County Proposition 1, emergency medical services

Strengths: Voters should continue funding this vital service. Medic One provides seamless, tiered medical response over 2,134 square miles for a population of nearly 2.2 million people. All 911 emergency calls within the borders of King County are handled through the Medic One system.

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Port of Seattle Commission

Grant Degginger, Position 2

Degginger’s depth of high level civic experience with major capital projects as well as his professional experience in construction law would be a boon for a port embarking on a construction spree.

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Fred Felleman, Position 5

Strengths: He brought his environmental-protection sensibilities to a port that already was making inroads, urging the commission to create the Energy and Sustainability Committee to further explore ways the port could reduce emissions. Felleman also has embraced the larger economic development mission of the port.

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Seattle City Council

Phillip Tavel, District 1

A pressing challenge is closing gaps between the city’s expansive homelessness response and its underfunded criminal justice system. As a defense attorney who helps offenders navigate this system, while sharing community-safety concerns, Tavel could immediately contribute to reform efforts with authority.

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Mark Solomon, District 2

The best remaining choice is left of center: Mark Solomon, a crime-prevention coordinator for the Seattle Police Department. A third-generation Beacon Hill resident, Solomon served in the Air Force, retiring as a lieutenant colonel, and was president of a security consultancy he helped found in 2001.

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Egan Orion, District 3

Orion organizes PrideFest and has advocated for small businesses on Capitol Hill. In addition to community experience and progressive values, Orion offers humility, reasonableness and a commitment to build unity, things sorely missing in the District 3 seat.

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Alex Pedersen, District 4

His blend of public and private experience, and deep knowledge of what Seattle can do to produce housing and secure funding for its homeless response, makes Pedersen one of the best candidates among all seven open council races this year.

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Ann Davison Sattler, District 5

Sattler vows to be responsive to constituents and focus more on city issues — such as housing, homelessness and public safety — than national politics.

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Heidi Wills, District 6

Wills is concerned about increased polarization in the district, such as picking sides in disputed transportation projects, rather than seeking a balanced approach.

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Jim Pugel, District 7

A veteran leader of Seattle and King County law enforcement, Pugel has the most knowledge of any city candidate about reducing crime while maintaining a compassionate response to homelessness and progressing on police reforms.

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Seattle Public School Board

Eric Blumhagen, District 1

Blumhagen has been legislative chairman for the Loyal Heights PTA and served on the board of Friends of Ingraham High School. He was a member of the district facilities advisory committee and high school boundaries task force. In his long history of school involvement, some of Blumhagen's most notable contributions have involved astute data analysis and interpretation.

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Chandra Hampson, District 3

As past president of the Seattle Council PTSA, Hampson is well familiar with the district’s strengths and challenges. She has served on the school district’s community engagement task force, and was one of five community members to work with school staff and board members to develop the strategic plan. She has extensive experience in governance, having served on a number of nonprofit boards.

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Leslie Harris, District 6

Harris’ experience with the district and proven leadership are valuable commodities, particularly as the district prepares to seat a new board mostly comprised of first-time directors.

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Bellevue City Council

John Stokes, Position 1

Strengths: During a time of rapid regional growth, Bellevue has consistently been among the Eastside's most livable and vibrant cities. The leadership of Council member John Stokes has contributed to the city's success, and voters should elect him to a third term.

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Jeremy Barksdale, Position 3

Strengths: Planning commissioner and technology professional Jeremy Barksdale has the ability to improve the Eastside city's ability to adapt to the demands of ongoing regional growth.

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Janice Zahn, Position 5

Strengths: Incumbent Janice Zahn has shown the insight and broad governmental knowledge to deserve reelection to the Bellevue City Council.

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Jennifer Robertson, Position 7

Strengths: Through three terms on Bellevue's council, land-use attorney Jennifer Robertson has shown commendable stewardship of the prosperous city's resources. She deserves election to a fourth term.

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    Bellevue School Board

    Francine Wiest, District 5

    Wiest has proved to be an attentive, analytical and solutions-oriented board member. She brings valuable skills and experience, and a drive to excellence that will benefit all students, teachers and staff in the Bellevue school community.

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    City of Redmond

    Angela Birney, Mayor

    Birney is a leader who puts Redmond first but also thinks regionally — a crucial characteristic as the city continues brisk growth and to experience problems that don't respect city boundaries.

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    Hank Myers, City Council, Position 1

    Somebody raising uncomfortable questions is good for a governing board, especially for the Redmond City Council, which some challengers accuse of groupthink, or of being a rubber stamp for the mayor.

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    Hank Margeson, City Council, Position 3

    Margeson's strength is understanding the nuance of the issues, and he has the knowledge and work style to support pragmatic decisions.

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    Vanessa Kritzer, City Council, Position 5

    Kritzer supports Redmond’s homelessness efforts, understands its transit needs and clearly has ideas and a constructive vision for the city.

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    David Carson, City Council, Position 7

    Carson, first elected in 2007, has been an involved city council member who has played a constructive role in the city's effort to keep up with rampant growth, including preparing for light rail.

    Read full endorsement →

     

     

    City of Renton

    Armondo Pavone, Mayor

    Pavone has deep community roots, as a longtime downtown Renton restaurateur and son of a city police officer. Since he was elected to the council in 2013, Pavone has pressed for infrastructure improvements to ensure the city maintains a business-friendly and walkable downtown core.

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    James Alberson, City Council, Position 3

    Alberson, who has chaired the Renton Chamber of Commerce for three years, is a salesman and business speaker who has shown a strong ability to cultivate much-needed commercial development.

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    Ryan McIrvin, City Council, Position 4

    McIrvin has shown strong engagement with city policies during his time in office, having helped develop affordable-housing and transportation plans to meet the needs of the fast-growing city.

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    Kim-Khanh Van, City Council, Position 7

    Van has a strong vision for Renton’s future, with plans to work with law enforcement and housing agencies to develop inclusion and economic opportunity. Van's civic résumé includes volunteer work and leadership roles with several organizations focused on helping immigrants. Her work as an attorney also has prepared her to shape public policy.

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