Northwest Asian Weekly
State Sen. Ed Murray and incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn will be moving on to the general election in November, along with seven of the eight APA candidates who competed in the primary, initial ballot returns show.
The candidates are Naomi Wilson, Shari Song, Vandana Slatter, Kshama Sawant, Albert Shen, My-Linh Thai, and Maya Vengadasalam. They will join Bellevue Mayor Conrad Lee, Seattle School Boardmember Betty Patu, and Mercer Island resident Benson Wong, who did not appear in the primary because they are facing either one opponent or running unopposed.
Not included among the victorious APA primary candidates is mayoral candidate and Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell.
Harrell, who is half Japanese and was the only candidate of color. Harrell garnered praise for his strong performances in debates and on camera but ultimately placed fourth after initial returns, behind Murray, McGinn, and former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck.
Now past the primaries, many of the APA candidates face tough November match ups.
Shen, a small business owner who has served on several panels and boards, is challenging Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien. In the primary Shen garnered 35 percent of the vote compared to O’Brien’s 57 percent.
“As a first time candidate challenging an incumbent city councilmember, I am humbled by the broad support I have received from the API community, labor community, and business community,” Shen said. “I am going to fight hard to win so that I can represent the very community that taught me the importance of service, social justice, and economic development. I look forward to a great campaign going into the general election and will bring a victory to the Asian American community so we can focus on the city’s future.”
A third candidate, David Ishii, received seven percent.
Sawant, a Seattle Central Community College economics professor, is challenging Richard Conlin for the council’s position 2. She garnered 33 percent of the vote in the primary compared to Conlin’s 49 percent. Brian Carver received 17 percent. Both Sawant and Carver have criticized Conlin for voting no on Seattle’s sick leave ordinance.
Two APA candidates will be campaigning for spots on the King County Council in November, but they are facing down high-performing incumbents.
Wilson, who garnered 24 percent of the vote, is facing Rod Dembowski, who was appointed to Bob Ferguson’s vacated seat and garnered 70 percent of the vote.
Song, who is running against Reagan Dunn, is performing better. She garnered 35 percent of the vote against Dunn’s 56 percent.
On the Bellevue City Council, the November race for position 6 is setting up to be an interesting battle, as incumbent Don Davidson is currently in third place behind Lynne Robinson and Vandana Slatter. Slatter, who is currently in second, at the moment has a thin 142 vote lead over Davidson. Robinson, who is first, garnered 48 percent of the vote.
On area school boards, APA candidates may have a better chance. A Bellevue resident, Thai led the primary count 40 percent to Ed Luera’s 36 percent. A third candidate, Erik Fretheim, won 23 percent.
In Kent, Vengadasalam finished second with 32 percent of the vote compared to Bruce Elliot’s 44 percent. Carmen Goers received 24 percent.
As of Aug. 6, 251,976 ballots have been returned to King County and 247,353 are ready to be counted. Ballots submitted day of have yet to be counted. King County will update vote counts daily at 4:30 p.m. and expect to certify the results on Aug. 20. Currently, voter turn out stands at 21 percent. (end)
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