Time to focus on primary election
April 30, 2009 · Updated 4:28 PM
Having helped decide a contentious primary race, Enumclaw-area voters are now gearing up for the stretch run - and accompanying campaigns - that will determine who represents the region at the King County Courthouse.
During the Sept. 16 primary election, voters were faced with three recognizable Republican names, each hoping to advance to November's general election. Steve Hammond came out on top with 26.71 percent of all votes cast, compared to 22.41 percent for Pam Roach and 15.52 percent for Phil Fortunato.
Hammond has the least political experience of the three, but is the current District 9 office-holder, having been appointed by the other dozen members of the Metropolitan King County Council following the death of longtime councilman Kent Pullen. Roach was a longtime Pullen assistant and is also in her third term as a state senator and Fortunato is a former state representative from the 47th District.
The District 9 primary election was decided by just 20.4 percent of all registered voters. Of the 71,743 voters eligible to cast a ballot, only 14,634 chose to do so.
While the three Republican were capturing nearly 65 percent of the primary vote, Democrat Barbara Heavey managed 35.37 percent of the total. Because she was the only Democrat in the primary race, her name automatically advances to November's general election.
Hammond's easygoing manner apparently struck a chord with voters, who gave him the nod despite limited political experience. He has served an Enumclaw church as pastor, and his only previous political involvement was an unsuccessful run for the state Legislature a few years back. While campaigning, Hammond emphasized the need for a District 9 councilman who is able to get along with 12 fellow members of the county council, positioning himself against both Roach and Fortunato, who are seen as a bit more abrasive in their political styles.
As of Monday, both Fire Protection District 12 and 20 had received voter approval of their emergency medical services levies.
District 12 voters cast 862 passing votes and 501 opposing votes for the proposed levy, which continues the current EMS levy and increases the amount of funding for the district from 25 cents to 50 cents per $1,000 assessed property value for a period of 10 years.
Fire District 20 residents chose to continue their EMS levy of 50 cents per $1,000 with 331 affirmative votes, 78 negative.
The 50 cents per $1,000 assessed property value is the maximum amount allowed by the state to be assessed for EMS.
Both levies go into effect in 2004. The owner of a $150,000 home, will pay $75 per year for emergency medical services.
Two Wilkeson Town Council candidates were eliminated after the Sept. 16 primary election.
As of Monday, Kevin Schoon and Kim Schoon did not receive enough votes to advance to the general elecion.
Kevin Schoon, who was running for the Wilkeson No. 2 post, received only 17 votes. Darla McQueen, who was recently appointed to fill the vacant position, and Janet Kepka will both advance to the November ballot. McQueen received 24 votes and Kepka received 74.
In the Wilkeson No. 4 position, Kim Schoon received 27 votes. Bernd "Ben" Odanovich and Joan Miller will both advance to November's election. Odanovich received 46 votes and Miller 42. There was one write-in ballot cast.
The Wilkeson No. 2 and 4 council positions will be decided in the Nov. 4 general election.