The incumbents have the overwhelming campaign money and the name familiarity in the races for King County executive and two County Council seats. One challenger is in it to bring attention to a single issue; the two others hope their doorbelling will pay off.

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Dow Constantine, the King County executive running for re-election, lists his campaign balance at $1.6 million, according to the Public Disclosure Commission.

His opponent is Bill Hirt, 78, a retired Boeing engineer. His campaign balance is $0.

“I take no contributions. The only money I’ve spent is the filing fee ($2,258.71 for that particular office),” Hirt says. “I have no desire to win.”

Instead, Hirt is hoping to call attention to his crusade against what he calls Sound Transit’s “monumental blunder” — Sound Transit’s East Link light-rail line.

It’s a similar scenario in two Metropolitan King County Council races, where incumbents Reagan Dunn and Kathy Lambert are competing against underfunded challengers Denice Carnahan and John Murphy.

They hope that if they knock and doorbell at enough homes, voters will decide they’re worth taking a look at.

“Doorbelling. It’s my trade secret,” says Carnahan.

We asked all six candidates a few questions to help you cast your vote. Incumbents in three other King County Council seats are running uncontested.

King County Executive

Annual salary, $222,140.

Dow Constantine, incumbent, 55, of West Seattle.

Married, 3 ½-year-old daughter. Campaign contributions, $1.6 million.

Which local politician do you admire most?

“Gov. Dan Evans. He’s a fascinating character who has contributed so much to this state. He’s the kind of Republican I think my grandfather was, who believe in conservation. I was so pleased to be able to attend at Hurricane Ridge when the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness was dedicated.”

Constantine says about his work as the King County executive, “I’ve done my best, and that’s been pretty good. I led a major regional and metropolitan government out of the recession and into prosperous times. I started by remaking how government does business, bringing principles from the private sector into the public sector.”

As an example, he cites reducing employee health-care costs by instituting wellness programs, the ability to choose among health plans and incentives to shift to generic rather than name-brand prescriptions.

Bill Hirt, challenger, 78, of Bellevue.

Retired Boeing engineer, married, two grown children, three grandchildren. No campaign contributions.

Which local politician do you admire most?

“I guess ‘Scoop’ Jackson (U.S. Sen. Henry Jackson, who represented this state from 1953 to 1983). He was a Democrat, but a common-sense Democrat. He was like a rational person in terms of defense posture.”

Hirt says he’s a one-issue candidate and is running so people will look at his blog,

He calls it “a $54 billion fraud.” He says light-rail extensions “will do absolutely nothing to ease the area’s congestion.”

Hirt already has run twice for the Bellevue City Council, twice for state representative and once for governor on the same issue.

In the five years since he created the blog, Hirt says, “It’s been read like 95,000 times.”

He’s happy with the results.

Reagan Dunn, left, and Denise Carnahan are running for Metropolitan King County Council, District No. 9 in the 2017 election.  (Courtesy of candidates)
Reagan Dunn, left, and Denise Carnahan are running for Metropolitan King County Council, District No. 9 in the 2017 election. (Courtesy of candidates)

Metropolitan King County Council District No. 9, which includes Newcastle, Maple Valley, Enumclaw and much of southeastern King County.

Annual salary, $149,011.

Reagan Dunn, incumbent, 46, of Bellevue.

Attorney, two children from a previous marriage, engaged to be married. Campaign contributions, $119,000.

Which local politician do you admire most?

“Bill Ruckelshaus. He was head of the EPA and then briefly the (Deputy) attorney general (who resigned rather than obey an order from President Richard Nixon to fire the Watergate special prosecutor in the ‘Saturday Night Massacre.’) I admire his integrity, and he shows that a Washington state Republican can be different. We can support environmental care.”

Dunn says he’s “focused on the continuing reform of King County government” with tightened budgets. As an example, he cites work the county government did after voters turned down a one-tenth of 1 percent sales-tax increase for Metro Transit funding.

He says the county found “400,000 hours annualized within the agency alone” to cover the shortfall.

Finishing his third term on the council, Dunn says, “I’m energized and excited. I’ve hit my stride as a legislator.”

Denice Carnahan, challenger, 59, of Renton.

Financial adviser, single. Campaign contributions, $13,400, including a $1,500 loan she made, and contributions ranging from $100 to $1,000 from family.

Which local politician do you admire most?

“(State Senator) Bob Hasegawa. He supports a Washington State Bank that would keep Washington money in Washington, and not Wall Street. North Dakota has done very well with their state bank.”

She believes that Dunn is disconnected from his constituents, and that when she goes doorbelling, “some people don’t know who he is.”

“Two of the fastest growing cities in King County are located in the 9th District. The freeways and back roads are clogged. Christmas tree farmers in Hobart can’t even get to their farms during rush hour,” she writes on her website. “Less talk, more action!”

Councilmember Kathy Lambert, left, and John Murphy are running for Metropolitan King County Council, District 3 in the 2017 election. (Courtesy of candidates)
Councilmember Kathy Lambert, left, and John Murphy are running for Metropolitan King County Council, District 3 in the 2017 election. (Courtesy of candidates)

Metropolitan King County Council District No. 3, which includes Duvall, Fall City, Issaquah, North Bend, Redmond, Sammamish, Snoqualmie and unincorporated Woodinville.

Annual salary, $149,886

Kathy Lambert, incumbent, schoolteacher, 64, of Redmond.

Married 35 years, six children from two marriages, 17 grandchildren. Contributions, $208,000.

Which local politician do you admire most?

“Andy Hill (the state senator who died in 2015 of lung cancer at age 54). I had the opportunity to work with him. He was brilliant. He streamlined a lot of the budget. He worked well across the aisle — it was highly amazing.”

Lambert says about seeking re-election, “I’m an innovator and I started some programs that have been important to the county,” she says.

As one example, she cites the county’s Safe Place program that has as its mission to “help runaways resolve their crises and remain in a stable environment, safe from predators and with appropriate help.”

As for criticism from her opponent about improving the roads, Lambert replies, “He said at one point that every road in King County should be repaved. If I had a magic wand I’d do that.”

What about people who say it’s time for a change? She’s been a council member since 2002. Lambert says, “I sleep four to five hours a night. I have a lot of ideas. I’m very engaged. I know how to get things done. That doesn’t happen overnight.”

John Murphy, challenger, 70, of North Bend.

Attorney, married, five daughters from two marriages, four grandchildren. Contributions, $32,000, including a $250 loan he made to the campaign.

Which local politician do you admire most?

“I liked Dan Evans. I just liked the person. He did nice as a governor.”

Murphy also believes his doorbelling will pay off as he talks to voters about issues such as roads and infrastructure.

“It’s shoe leather than wins elections,” he says.

Murphy says he was raising the issue of traffic congestion two decades ago as a deputy fire chief in King County.

He wants expanded public transportation services, and he wants to “bring big employers and developers to the table to find innovative ways to secure equitable funding of our roads.”

“There have been committees, task forces formed. They’ve been studying this for 25 years,” Murphy says. “Let’s get this out of committee and do something.”