West Seattle, Washington
He’s only been on the job six months, but King County Councilmember Joe McDermott is already running again. Last fall, he was elected for the year remaining in what was now-County Executive Dow Constantine’s term, after Jan Drago served a year as an appointee; this time, a full four-year term is at stake. Thursday night, in bowling shoes, McDermott presided over his official campaign-kickoff party at Roxbury Lanes just yards south of West Seattle. Among those in attendance were County Council colleagues Julia Patterson, Larry Phillips, Larry Gossett, and Bob Ferguson, State House Rep. Eileen Cody, elected city officials from Burien and Tukwila, members of the North Highline Unincorporated Council, and community advocates from neighborhoods in the 8th District including White Center, South Park, and Vashon. And from McDermott’s home neighborhood, West Seattle – his parents Terri McDermott and Jim McDermott:
Though all at the party were exhorted to have fun and get some bowling in, there was of course the opportunity for the candidate to offer a short speech first:
McDermott spent almost a decade in the State Legislature before moving to the County Council. The other candidate in this race so far is another West Seattleite, Diana Toledo, whom he also faced in last year’s general election. We covered her kickoff party at the Admiral Theater last week.
With three months till the primary, and candidate forums and campaign kickoffs starting to intensify, we’re stepping up coverage of the 2011 election. Last night at the Admiral Theater, West Seattleite Diana Toledo launched her second campaign for King County Council District 8 (which includes West Seattle and White Center), with an all-ages party, friends and family chatting in the theater’s loft, while little ones brought by partygoers romped down on the main floor. Toledo says she chose the venue to support a local business that could use more patrons.
Among those at the party was Tim Fahey, one of the three other candidates that ran for the office last year. You’ll see him in our clip from the short speech Toledo gave last night:
Toledo is a former King County employee who says her experience inside county government will help her reform it (here’s her online bio). The candidate to whom Toledo lost in last year’s general election, now-King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, is the only other declared candidate so far; he has a kickoff party scheduled next week. The official filing period opens this Friday for candidates filing by mail. (Wondering why there’s another election so soon after the last one? That was for the remainder of the term that had been won by Dow Constantine before he moved up to King County Executive two years ago, so this time a full 4-year council term is up for grabs.)
As of this afternoon, West Seattle’s Joe McDermott is the newest member of the King County Council, representing District 8, which also includes White Center and Vashon/Maury Islands. In the county-provided photo above, he was sworn in by Clerk of the Council Anne Noris, hours after the November 2nd election results were certified. The official news release announcing his swearing-in quotes Councilmember McDermott as saying, ““I am honored the voters of the 8th Council District chose me to serve them in a position that has a long legacy of strong, effective leadership … We must work together to provide meaningful and efficient government services with an eye to the future. We cannot let today’s economic crisis keep us from meeting our commitments in regional planning, environmental stewardship and public safety.” McDermott spent the past decade in the State Legislature, in the State Senate since 2007, following seven years in the State House. On the nine-member County Council, he succeeds Jan Drago, appointed early this year after the November 2009 election moved Dow Constantine up to County Executive; this election was for the remaining year of Constantine’s unexpired term, so the position will be back on the ballot in November 2011. Final certified results of this election are here; McDermott had 68 percent of the vote, Diana Toledo – also a West Seattleite – 32 percent. They were the top two finishers from a field of four in the August primary.
8 PM: The King County Council District 8 seat – including West Seattle, White Center, and Vashon/Maury Islands, as well as some other parts of the metro area – is the one that Dow Constantine left to win election as KC Executive a year ago. Jan Drago was appointed to serve until the election (she had made it clear she didn’t want to run for the job); four people filed to run, and the primary ended with State Sen. Joe McDermott and former county licensing official Diana Toledo as the top two vote-getters. Tonight’s results in this race will be here; more to come.
8:16 PM: We’re starting the night at the McDermott party at Calamity Jane’s in Georgetown. Still no King County results at all; the room full of people is busy checking their smartphones, while we hit “refresh” every few seconds on the MacBook. A bigscreen projector is showing, alternately, the King County Elections site and the New York Times front page.
8:19 PM: Numbers in. McDermott over Toledo, 67 to 32 percent. From the county website:
Joe McDermott 21020 67.61%
Diana Toledo 9957 32.03%
10:28 PM: Quick video interview:
(Part 1 of 3 unedited segments comprising tonight’s candidates’ forum in White Center)
It’ll be the wee hours before we finish the full story, but for election-watchers, we wanted to let you know we’ve written a very quick first summary of tonight’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council-presented candidates’ forum in White Center’s Greenbridge neighborhood, featuring both candidates in each of our area’s open-seat races: King County Council District 8 and 34th District State House Position 2. That quick summary is up right now at partner site White Center Now. We also recorded the forum on video in its entirety – nothing artistic, we’ll warn you, but in case you want to see/hear for yourself, we’re putting it on the record in three unedited segments comprising the entire 2 1/2 hours – what’s embedded above is Part 1. ADDED 11:19 PM: And here’s part 2:
12:47 PM: And part three:
Again – full story to come!
Two weeks till the voting ends and the vote-counting begins. Maybe you knew who and what you’re voting for before your ballot even arrived; if not, one more advance alert about the last major candidates’ forum in this area before Election Day: Thursday night, the four candidates in the two major open races on local ballots are scheduled to be at the forum organized by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, which is the resident-elected community council for White Center, among other not-yet-annexed areas between West Seattle and Burien. The forum’s being held barely a block south of West Seattle, at the Greenbridge YWCA (9720 8th SW; here’s a map), doors open at 6 pm Thursday, forum begins at 6:30. From the NHUAC website:
The following candidates have confirmed their participation.
The King County Council race is for the 8th District, the seat held by Dow Constantine before he was elected as County Executive a year ago (Jan Drago, appointed to serve until this election, chose not to run for the job); the 34th District race is for the State House, Position 2, seat that Sharon Nelson is leaving to run (unopposed) for the State Senate seat that McDermott is leaving to seek the County Council spot. (Researching? Voters’-guide links here.)
We brought you the first round of King County’s primary election results back on August 17, and today comes official word that the county’s results have been finalized. (We confirmed this with County communications specialist Katie Gilliam.)
The top two finishers in each race advance to the November 2 general election, which means Joe Fitzgibbon and Mike Heavey for 34th District House Rep #2, and Joe McDermott and Diana Toledo for King County Council District 8.
For the local race results, the only official change from primary night’s results is that Joe Fitzgibbon has inched ahead of Mike Heavey, by an oh-so-slim margin (we reported on August 20 that this shift was starting to happen).
34TH DISTRICT STATE HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION 2
(Rep. Sharon Nelson isn’t running for re-election – she’s unopposed for State Senate in LD #34)
Fitzgibbon first 34%, Heavey second 32%, McElroy third 18%, Stone fourth 14%
(Note: Early returns on primary night had showed Heavey at 34% and Fitzgibbon at 33%)
KING COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 8 (nonpartisan)
(Councilmember Jan Drago isn’t running for the seat to which she was appointed early this year)
McDermott first 60%, Toledo second 19%, McEvoy third 13%, Fahey fourth 7%
In another LD #34 race of note, Eileen Cody captured 81% of the vote against 18% for Ray Carter.
King County Elections got 95,000 more ballots in the mail today – the highest single-day delivery, which they say is unusual because that usually happens Election Day – and expected to include at least 40,000 in the second run of primary results. Those results were just made public – see them here. The order hasn’t changed in our area’s biggest race, 34th District State Representative Position 2, but Mike Heavey‘s margin over second-place Joe Fitzgibbon narrowed to 21 votes. Complete look at that race, after the jump:Read More
(Scroll down for updates – now that numbers are in, we’re off visiting campaign parties)
(King County Elections photo from their HQ, cars lined up to drop off ballots by 8 pm)
The first and only results that King County is making public tonight have just come out. In our area’s two major races – each with four candidates going for an open seat, and the top two advancing to November once ALL the votes are counted and the election is certified:
34TH DISTRICT STATE HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION 2
(Rep. Sharon Nelson isn’t running for re-election – she’s unopposed for State Senate)
Heavey first 34%, Fitzgibbon second 33%, McElroy third 19%, Stone fourth 14%
KING COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 8 (nonpartisan)
(Councilmember Jan Drago isn’t running for the seat to which she was appointed early this year)
McDermott first 59%, Toledo second 20%, McEvoy third 13%, Fahey fourth 7%
All King County results are linked here. We’ll add other highlights of interest shortly, and we’ll be adding candidate reaction as we get it. Meantime, if you still haven’t voted – it’s not too late – you can mail it till midnight at Riverton Heights (near Sea-Tac; see our earlier story).
(Tim Fahey being interviewed by Q13’s Parella Lewis, with Mac McElroy looking on outside his pub)
8:41 PM: We were at Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy‘s party at his Triangle Pub in White Center when the results came in – with at least four other members of the media sighted. Now we’ve moved on to Fauntleroy, to Mike Heavey‘s campaign party, a gathering of family and friends (iPhone photo at right, as the candidate posed with varying combinations of people from both those groups). Both locations so far have been full of good cheer, despite the varying results. McElroy’s party also was visited by two other candidates – Ray Carter, the “reluctant Republican” challenging Democratic Rep. Eileen Cody, and Tim Fahey, who is currently fourth of 4 in the King County Council race. We are moving on to other locations shortly. Just interviewed Heavey, who foresees the general-election campaign, apparently against Fitzgibbon, as “a battle for the ages” – with voters being asked to choose “what kind of Democrat” they support. 10:16 PM: We’ve also caught up with Joe Fitzgibbon, whose supporters were celebrating at Heartland Café in the Admiral District:
Video from the frontrunners, coming up. And again, tonight’s vote is nowhere near final – King County Elections will release vote totals daily, until the final results are out on September 1st – two weeks away. ADDED 12:25 AM: Quick comments on video from Heavey, Fitzgibbon and McElroy:
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: We’ve already previewed tonight’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show (6:30 pm, bring a food-bank donation) – and here are 2 other notable events: If you live in Sunrise Heights or Westwood, be at The Hall @ Fauntleroy at 6 pm tonight for one more chance to find out how your home and neighborhood might be directly affected if the “green stormwater” option for controlling overflows at Barton Pump Station is chosen. Here’s our previous preview, with a map of who’s targeted. And if you’re still making up your mind in the King County Council District 8 race – it’s on the slate for a Seattle League of Women Voters forum downtown (along with state Supreme Court candidates), 7:30 pm, First Baptist Church (Harvard/Seneca).
(WSB video of each candidate’s opening statement)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
You of course have to take into consideration the fact that Vashon Island was where the forum was held – Courthouse Square, to be specific, part of a double bill with a forum for candidates in the other big open race that’s on Vashon, West Seattle, White Center and Burien (etc.) ballots, 34th District State House Position 2 (we’ll cover that one in a separate story later).
This race, if you’re just starting to ramp up, is for the County Council seat that used to be held by now-County Executive Dow Constantine. Former Seattle City Councilmember Jan Drago was appointed to do the job until this fall’s election, but wasn’t interested in running to keep it. Four candidates are running, and all were on hand for last night’s forum.
State Sen. Joe McDermott of West Seattle was the only candidate voicing unqualified support for the West Seattle Water Taxi run. Tim Fahey of South Park said he’d only found it useful to “go on dates” (and he hadn’t been aware of the Vashon run until it came up at the forum); Normandy Park City Councilmember Shawn McEvoy said West Seattleites had better “step up” their usage of the passenger ferry (seeming to infer “use it or lose it”); and Diana Toledo of West Seattle was noncommittal, saying she didn’t want to make promises she couldn’t keep.
Two days after King County Elections announced the August 17 primary ballots were in the mail, they’re arriving (ours just showed up). The big decisions for West Seattle (and neighboring communities) are in two open races with four candidates each, which the primary results will narrow to two for November: 34th District State House Position 2 (WSB coverage archive with “candidate conversation” stories here) and King County Council District 8 (WSB coverage archive here; watch for “candidate conversation” stories in the next week). Two candidate forums are coming up – tomorrow on Vashon Island, the candidates from both races are expected at Courthouse Square (see the end of this article) for a forum to focus on the State House race 7-8 pm and the County Council race 8-9 pm; then next Thursday, August 5th, the Seattle League of Women Voters presents a candidates’ forum downtown, with the County Council race (and those vying for two Supreme Court seats). Back to voting: August 17th is the deadline to postmark your ballot; the county has a list of voter resources on this webpage.
Friday was the final day for candidates to file to run in the August 17th primary, and the online lists – which we have reason to believe aren’t final yet – show two local races with candidates who hadn’t surfaced earlier: In the County Council District 8 race (the job to which Jan Drago was appointed to but isn’t running for), joining State Sen. Joe McDermott of West Seattle, Normandy Park City Councilmember Shawn McEvoy, and political newcomer Diana Toledo of West Seattle, we see Tim Fahey of South Park, whose campaign focus – via the Web and Facebook – appears to be on the soon-to-close SP Bridge. In the State Legislature races, Rep. Sharon Nelson remains unopposed for State Senate; the State House Position 2 job she’s giving up has drawn the previously announced candidates – Joe Fitzgibbon of Burien, Mike Heavey of West Seattle, Marcee Stone of West Seattle are on the online list; Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy, also of West Seattle, isn’t, but he says he filed Friday afternoon, so we’ll assume the online list has some lags. But there is one extra entrant, in Rep. Eileen Cody‘s State House Position 1 race; Ray Carter of West Seattle filed on Friday afternoon. He doesn’t appear to have a website, so we don’t know much about him yet, except that he declared his party preference as “Prefers Reluctantly GOP Party.” That makes him the only person mentioned in this story to have declared with GOP or Republican; the County Council race is nonpartisan, so no declarations there, but in the other state races, everyone has declared a Democratic preference except McElroy, who has said he’d run as an independent (since he’s not showing on the state page yet, we don’t know how it will show). In all races, the top two votegetters in August will move on to Nov. 2.
ADDED 10:43 AM: In comments and via e-mail, it’s pointed out that the county candidate-filing list page is showing McElroy’s registration, even though the state page hasn’t caught up yet. And indeed, “prefers independent party” is the designation. We also have heard from newly filed State House candidate Ray Carter, who e-mailed us an explanation of his “reluctantly GOP” preference and his campaign – click ahead to read:Read More
Now, there are three declared candidates campaigning for King County Council District 8, the seat currently held by Councilmember Jan Drago — appointed to fill the vacancy after Dow Constantinewas elected County Executive, but not running to keep the job. The latest is West Seattleite Diana Toledo – read on for her announcement:Read More
A new entrant today in the 8th District race for King County Council, a position to which Councilmember Jan Drago was appointed last year but has said she won’t run for. Normandy Park Councilmember Shawn McEvoy is now in the running against previously declared candidate State Sen. Joe McDermott. Read on for McEvoy’s announcement:Read More
(video highlights added to the end of this story early Thursday)
Right now at The Hall at Fauntleroy, our area’s biggest political group, the 34th District Democrats, have just started their regular meeting, after a special event – campaign kickoff for State Sen. Joe McDermott‘s King County Council run; he thanked the crowd for their support. He and his fellow 34th District legislators, Reps. Eileen Cody and Sharon Nelson, are scheduled to provide a legislative update during the meeting; the 34th DDs also are scheduled to make one or more endorsements from among the three Democrats running for Rep. Nelson’s seat (she’s running, unopposed so far, for McDermott’s Senate seat). We’ll provide in-progress updates as news happens.
7:25 PM UPDATE: News just happened. One of the three candidates, Mike Heavey, has just withdrawn
from the race. The room was clearly shocked – our reporter there says there was an audible gasp. 7:42 PM UPDATE: We talked to Heavey for clarification. He is **NOT** dropping out of the race – but is withdrawing from the endorsement process that’s under way at the meeting right now.
(Photo by Dina Johnson, added Wednesday)
7:47 PM UPDATE: Results of the endorsement vote – Marcee Stone (above) gets the 34th DDs’ members’ endorsement, with 65% of the 120+ votes cast, double what Joe Fitzgibbon received. PCOs are taking a separate vote. 9:04 PM: The meeting’s over. Stone also won the PCO vote, which translates to the party’s official nomination. We’ll add a bit more about the meeting later, including video highlights. 1:37 AM THURSDAY: Those highlights are here, in video shot/edited for WSB by Edgar Riebe of Captive Eye Media:
The 34th Dems made other endorsements Wednesday night, and they are all listed on the group’s home page.