Opinion

More Federal Way election picks | Bob Roegner

The races for Federal Way City Council have had to share center stage with the races for judge this year.

Somewhat surprisingly, there have been no fireworks. Sonia Sciscente and Mike Peterson are challenging incumbents Linda Kochmar and Jeanne Burbidge, respectively. Both Sciscente and Peterson have differences with the incumbents and have presented themselves as alternatives who would do things somewhat differently, but neither has “attacked” their opponents. Since Kochmar and Burbidge will be hard to beat, this may turn out to be a good strategy if either is considering the possibility of a future run for office. Should they lose, they should consider applying for positions on city boards, as additional seasoning would improve their political resumes. Kochmar and Burbidge should win comfortably.

The race for the open seat between Roger Freeman and Diana Noble-Gulliford has been the most interesting. Both had “very good” ratings from the Municipal League, each serves on a city board and each brings strengths that would benefit the city council. It looks like Noble-Gulliford in a close race, but a Freeman win wouldn’t be a surprise.

Both positions in the Federal Way Municipal Court are up for election this year, and both offer good competitive races. Rebecca Robertson is challenging Presiding Judge Michael Morgan. She came out of the primary with a solid lead. Morgan has responded with a good campaign strategy and direct mail. But it may not be enough. Robertson will likely win.

Appointed incumbent David Larson looks to be in good shape, although he has a credible opponent in Renee Walls. Larson’s longtime community involvement should be enough for the win.

In this politically dynamic year, the Federal Way School Board hasn’t gotten the attention it might have normally received. But part of that is also a reflection of the board’s changed makeup and ability to work together. Longtime board member Ed Barney is being challenged by Bill Pirkle, and recently appointed Angela Griffin’s opponent is Steve Skipper. Pirkle and Skipper haven’t made the case to change what appears to be an improving and potentially outstanding board. Look for Barney and Griffin to win easily. The other recent appointee, Tony Moore, is unopposed.

South King Fire and Rescue has two candidates in John Rickert and Roger Hershey — both with fire commissioner experience. This race has been very low profile and both are good candidates. Expect it to be Hershey in a close race.

In the Lakehaven Utility District, commissioners Charles Gibson and Ronald Nowicki are unopposed. Appointed incumbent Len Englund previously ran for the school board, so his name familiarity is higher. Opponent Ron Hall has good credentials, but Englund seems the likely winner.

In other races, look for King County Council member Reagan Dunn to be easily re-elected in District 9. Julia Patterson, District 5, and Pete Von Reichbauer, District 7, are unopposed.

For Port Commissioner, Rob Holland and Tom Albro are likely winners.

Referendum 71, affirming the Legislature’s intent, will probably be approved and I-1033, Tim Eyman’s latest proposal, will probably lose.

Voters, it’s up to you.

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