Voters pass fire levy



Voters in Federal Way approved a fire protection levy, set the stage for a final showdown in legislative races and picked a King County Superior Court judge in Tuesday’s primary election.

Proposition 1, in which the Federal Way Fire Department asked to continue a property tax of $1.50 per $1,000 assessed valuation, passed easily with about 71 percent of the ballots in its favor.

Revenue from the levy is the largest portion of the department’s budget. Without it, the department would struggle to maintain current services, officials said.

In races for the Legislature in the 30th District, which includes Federal Way, two incumbents and a second-time candidate came out on top in warmups for the Nov. 7 general election.

Sen. Tracey Eide, a Democrat, captured 56 percent of the votes to Republican Tony Moore’s 44 percent.

A similar margin was won by another Democrat, Rep. Mark Miloscia (55 percent), over Republican Jim Ferrell (45 percent) in their Position 1 duel.

Republican Skip Priest, making another bid for the Legislature after losing to Miloscia in 1998, logged 54 percent of the votes to Democrat Greg Markley’s 46 percent for Position 2.

A closer contest was apparently won by Superior Court Judge Steve Gonzalez. He received 51 percent of the votes to Dave Larson’s 49 percent. Gonzalez will serve the final two years of a term he was appointed to in February after Ann Schindler left the post to become a state appeals court judge.

All the results are unofficial but aren’t expected to change significantly when the final tallies are released by election officials.

The voter turnout was low throughout King County. About 11 percent of the more than 1 million registered voters participated, according to the county Department of Elections.

The legislative races were contested the heaviest leading up to the primary election. Democrat and Republican officials on the state level see the outcomes as potentially critical to efforts to be the controlling parties when the Legislature reconvenes in January.

Election observers have said that the flow of campaign contributions could dwindle for candidates trailing badly after the primary voting if they’re perceived as unlikely winners in November.

A candidate who could be in that position is Sarah Casada, the Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Adam Smith. The Democrat incumbent in the 9th District, which includes Federal Way, finished far ahead Tuesday with about 63 percent of the votes.

Editor Pat Jenkins can be reached at 925-5565 and

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