Opinion

One heck of a primary election | Bob Roegner

For the 70 percent of you who were otherwise occupied, we just had one very good primary election!

Too bad you missed it because you may not recognize all the new names.

The new non-partisan King County executive will be either Susan Hutchison, who is the “Republican” in the race and pulled 33 percent, or Dow Constantine, who finished ahead of three other Democrats at 26 percent.

Hutchison ran an outsider campaign and tried to stay above the fray, giving little for her opponents to target. Her vote total is approximately the Republican base.

The four major Democrats were left to try and separate themselves from one another for the second spot. Constantine was able to tap into the new young voter demographic along with his union support. The Democratic vote outnumbered the Republican vote, which will help Constantine. But a bigger help to him in November will be a wide open race for mayor of Seattle. It will bring a big Democratic turnout. Hutchison will have to work the suburbs for independents and will focus on women voters.

Like the executive race, being an outsider helped in Seattle as the biggest surprise of the election was Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels running third. Environmentalist Mike McGinn and business executive Joe Mallahan finished at about 27 percent. Absentees are not likely to put Nickels into the second spot. Since the weather has been 80-90 degrees, it’s hard to imagine a snow storm changing an election, but it did. The story just wouldn’t die and Nickels never recovered.

In Auburn, Pete Lewis took 47 percent against three opponents. Second place finisher Virginia Haugen’s 29 percent won’t be enough. Lewis will likely win comfortably in November.

In Federal Way, the races went as expected. At 33 percent, Roger Freeman finished first in the contest for the vacant council seat. Diana Noble-Gulliford finished second at 25 percent. But if you look at the vote distribution, Noble-Gulliford will likely pick up both David St. John’s and Lorie Woods’ voters. They finished at 21 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Troy Smith’s 6 percent will be split between both candidates due to his political affiliation and education platform. The demographics suggest Noble-Gulliford as the probable front-runner going into the fall. These are two good candidates and it will be a good race.

In the hotly contested race for judge, Rebecca Robertson led with 36 percent, but embattled incumbent Mike Morgan had a 6 percent lead over the rest of the field and finished second at 19 percent. Morgan proved to be formidable as he outspent the rest and had a good direct mail and sign campaign. Matthew York and James Santucci were running even at 13 percent for third and fourth. Mark Knapp had 12 percent and Williams Jarvis had 6 percent.

Controversy, qualifications and residency were the major issues. Interestingly, 56 percent of the voters voted for candidates who don’t live here. The votes for non-resident candidates York and Jarvis in the primary will likely go for Robertson in the general. Both Santucci and Knapp live here, as does Morgan. Their votes will be split between Robertson and Morgan. Robertson is clearly the front-runner, but if she wants to stay in front, she will need to take her campaign to a higher level. Morgan will work hard to try and catch her.

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