Opinion

Primary election forecast and headliners | Roegner

The primary election is next week and we should have a better idea how November might look.

The headliner this year is the mayoral race between incumbent Skip Priest and Deputy Mayor Jim Ferrell. They won’t be on the ballot until the general election, but that is the race everyone is watching. Both candidates have had their formal kickoffs. Both candidates are raising money and refining their arguments.

Priest believes he has done a good job and would like to continue. Ferrell feels that Priest has had his chance and has not performed.

Ferrell’s campaign theme is “we can do better.” How do you, the voter, feel? Are you happy with your streets, parks, downtown and public safety? Or do you want a change?

But other issues such the Performing Arts and Conference Center (PACC) might catch your interest. Priest favors the project to help downtown, while Ferrell is opposed, as he believes the cost is too high and will drain dollars away from police officers in the future. How about the complaint filed by Councilmember Kelly Maloney against Mayor Priest over his behavior? Does that play into your view?

The primary election will reduce the field and help determine if the two newly appointed Councilmembers Diana Noble-Gulliford and Kelly Maloney will have a difficult race on their hands. Noble-Gulliford will likely face Martin Moore in the general election, with Ryan Miller being eliminated. To his credit, Miller has been working at the campaign, but is just not well enough known to move ahead of the other two. Moore, in a mild surprise, got the Tacoma News Tribune (TNT) endorsement, which helps against a well known candidate like Noble-Gulliford.

Mark Koppang will likely face Maloney in the general. Maloney got the TNT endorsement. The third candidate, Anthony Murrietta, finally started to campaign the past three weeks, but since the others have been running for several months, it may be too late. After the primary, this could be the hottest race.

In the school board race, Carol Gregory and Medgar Wells should move into the general, and that should be a very interesting debate.

Also in schools, former Federal Way City Councilmember Dean McColgan  is running for the Seattle School Board. However, Suzanne Dale Estey is the frontrunner with Sue Peters likely taking the second spot.

King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer and King County Executive Dow Constantine are so strong that von Reichbauer is unopposed and none of the big names were willing to challenge Constantine. Constantine will move through the primary and general easily. However, that doesn’t mean county politics will be quiet. Over on the Eastside in Council District 9, incumbent Reagan Dunn is facing a spirited battle with businesswoman Shari Song. Both should advance to the general, setting up a great match for the fall.

Rod Dembowski was appointed to the King County Council in District 1 to replace Bob Ferguson when he was elected Attorney General. Dembowski is the frontrunner and will likely face Naomi Wilson in the general. King County Councilmember Julia Patterson is stepping down, and although there is no primary, State Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D) is probably the frontrunner.

Stephanie Bowman should come out of the primary leading for Port of Seattle Commissioner Position 3. Michael Wolfe will likely also advance.

In Auburn, Deputy Mayor Nancy Backus is looking to step up and is expected to lead fellow Councilmember John Partridge as both move on to the general election. Political newcomer Scot Pondelick will likely finish third. Backus is well connected at City Hall and has retiring Mayor Pete Lewis’s support, and her campaign manager is a city employee who is also the mayor’s assistant. However, the fire employees strongly prefer Partridge. This could become a good race, and the primary numbers will give us a good indication.

Lastly, for the past three years, incumbent Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has looked like a one-term mayor. But that played to his favor when he was deemed so vulnerable that there were enough candidates running against him to field a football team. They will split the anti-incumbent vote. If you’re a betting person, I would look for a final race between McGinn and State Sen. Ed Murray.

But the most important thing...don’t forget to vote!

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