Ballot light for primary election



Voters in Federal Way will decide the fate of a fire protection levy, pick a judge and indicate their favorites for local, state and federal offices in the primary election next Tuesday.

Here and elsewhere, relatively few people are expected to bother with casting ballots. The King County Elections Department predicts that 32.5 percent of the approximately 1.1 million registered voters countywide will participate. But unofficial estimates of the turnout range from 20 to 25 percent.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Polling places are named on the back of voter registration cards.

Absentee voting is still possible. Ballots are available through 4:30 p.m. Monday at the King County Records and Elections Division at the county administration building in Seattle. They must be postmarked by Tuesday to be counted.

The Federal Way Fire Department hopes a majority of voters in its service area will support Proposition 1. If they do, a current property tax levy rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation will continue. Without the tax revenue, the department would face cuts in training and possible layoffs, officials said.

A Federal Way man, David Larson, is seeking to unseat King County Superior Court Judge Steve Gonzalez, who was appointed to the court’s Position 5 in February after the previous judge, Ann Schindler, was named to the state appeals court. Either Gonzalez or Larson will serve the remaining two years of Schindler’s old term.

The Gonzalez-Larson race and the fire levy are the only contests that will be decided in the primary. Everything else will conclude in the general election Nov. 5.

Nevertheless, candidates’ chances of winning in November could improve or slump based on next Tuesday’s voting. Poor performances by any of the contenders in 30th District legislative races –– Rep. Mark Miloscia, a Democrat, versus Republican Jim Ferrell for state representative Position 1, Republican Skip Priest against Democrat Greg Markley for state representative Position 2, and Sen. Tracey Eide (Democrat) against Republican Tony Moore for senator –– could peg them as unlikely winners and shrink the flow of financial campaign contributions to them. Then again, the district is considered crucial by both political parties in their attempts to rule the House and Senate, which could cause them to pump more money into the campaigns here.

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Sarah Casada have no opponents within their party as they head toward November.

Also on the ballot but running unopposed for re-election is the county’s prosecuting attorney, Republican Norm Maleng.

Three King County District Court seats in the Federal Way district will only be on the general-election ballot. The only one that’s contested is between Elizabeth Stephenson and Tim Jenkins. Judge Judith Eiler, who is seeking re-election, and Mark Eide, Tracey Eide’s husband, are unopposed for the other seats.

In a newly announced candidate endorsement, Tracey Eide has the backing of the Washington Education Association and the Washington Federation of Teachers. WEA and WTC represent public school teachers and college instructors, respectively.

Eide is vice chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee and is a Federal Way Public Schools volunteer.

Editor Pat Jenkins can be reached at 925-5565 and

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