Reviewing the primary election

August 21st, 2009 by Ken

One thing the recent Primary election has shown, is that people who vote in the primary do so for a specific reason.   In otherwords, most people don’t vote in a primary and only those with some issue seem to do so.

Take the City of Olympia’s races for the city council.   Opponents of the building height  increases in the Fourth Avenue peninsula came out on top.   Both Karen Rogers and Karen Veldheer, running for the vacant  Position Four seat were opposed to the city’s  increased building height and came in the top two.  The third candidate in that race, Amy Tousley, supported height increases as a member of the city planning commission.

Incumbent Councilmember Jeff Kingsbury pulled only 30 percent of the vote in his bid for re-election to his Position Five seat and was out-polled by Stephen Buxbaum, a part time faculty member at The Evergreen State College who was also an opponent of increased heights.

It appears that Kingsbury is in trouble, but with only 30 percent of the voters bothering to vote, he may be able to pull out a victory in November.  But one thing is sure – – the primary brought out the single-issue voters.

In the Thurston County Commissioner primary, incumbent Democrat Karen Valenzuela took 45 percent of the vote against her Republican opponent Pat Beehler who ended up with 35 percent.  The other Democrat in the race, Dan Venable garnered 18 percent.  That means that the two Democrats took 63 percent of the vote.

Beehler’s task in November looks tough.  Bear in mind that an incumbent Democratic woman has never been beaten in Thurston County.   Some argue that point, but they’re wrong.   It has been pointed out that Ann Burgman beat Kay Boyd for a Lacey Council seat in the 1980’s, but the Lacey Council race is a non-partisan race.

But, Valenzuela was appointed to her seat and this is her first run.  And, she ran in the primary in the most heavily Democratic area.  In November she has to run countywide, which is not as partisan as her primary area.  So, Beehler has a chance, a slim chance, but a chance.

In the Port of Olympia race, the environmentalist candidate Dave Peeler handily beat the business candidate Will Stakelin.   Peeler ended up with 46 percent of the vote while the second place candidate Jeff Davis, a longshoreman garnered 31 percent.

This is going to be a tough fought General election race, with Davis pulling support from unions as well as from business.   I don’t think Peeler can win in a countywide race. 

In the Tumwater mayor race, Neil McClanahan holds a slight lead for second place against Joan Cathey who was making a run to be the first woman mayor in the 164 year history of Tumwater.   McClanahan has just a couple of dozen vote lead.  Some votes are left to be counted.  The winner will face off against Pete Kmet who won 38 percent of the vote in the five candidate field.  Kmet has the endorsement of the outgoing mayor.

And finally, for an issue that may have some repercussions in Lacey, the taxpayers of the Yelm Fire District turned down an effort by the City of Yelm to annex into the fire district.  While City of Yelm voters said Yes  by nearly 55 percent, voters in the Yelm Fire District said No by nearly 55 percent.

One of the answers to Lacey’s problem with the Lacey Fire District is to annex the city into the fire district.  As we saw in Yelm, that doesn’t always translate to the voter’s approval.

Posted in Government, History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

(comments are closed).