2017 Washington primary elections

The goals of state, county and city candidates

picture of a vote box
Mattchew Rietveld / The Watchdog

The Washington primaries will be held on Aug 1, where a number of issues will be decided by voters.
One of the more reported-upon races is for the mayor of Seattle, with 21 candidates on the ballot to replace outgoing mayor Ed Murray.

Mike McGinn speaking publicly.
Mike McGinn speaking publicly. Courtesy of Flickr

Former mayor Mike McGinn is running, stating “Rents and home prices are skyrocketing. And despite incredible wealth in our city, we keep getting hit with new regressive taxes. If you wanted to design a system to drive out working and middle class residents, this is what it would look like. Growth that benefits the wealthy, with the impacts paid for by those in the middle and the bottom.” McGinn states that he would cut unneeded spending, fund basic infrastructure, parks and community centers, as well as public safety.

Another candidate is Jenny Durkan, a lawyer who served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of WA. Durkan states that “Seattle must always remain a fearless, compassionate city that invents the future. But today we are at a crossroads. We risk becoming two Seattles, where too many people are pushed out, and too many cannot keep up with rising costs.” With some Seattlites disagreeing with President Trump’s policies, Durkan states opposition to Trump and his travel ban, saying “I will stand up to Trump and show that our diversity is our strength. I know we can protect the vulnerable while building a vibrant economy that fosters innovation and empowers workers.”

One issue mentioned by many mayoral candidates is transit, mentioning traffic and light rail. Candidate Jessyn Farrell states that “Seattle is America’s fastest growing city, with a dynamic economy, unmatched natural beauty, and great neighborhoods. Yet traffic, homelessness, and lack of affordable housing jeopardize what makes Seattle special. Solutions are within our grasp, but require progressive, pragmatic leadership to get the job done. […] As Mayor, I’ll bring my experience as an attorney and three-term legislator to address these challenges, and build a Seattle that is affordable, sustainable, and welcoming to all.”

One race relevant to the BC community is the state senator for the 45th congressional district, covering the Eastside from Kirkland to Duvall to Sammammish. Three candidates are on the ballot, Manka Dhingra, Jinyoung Lee Englund and Parker Harris. Dhingra, who prefers the Democratic party, states in her voter profile that “Eastside families deserve experienced, professional, local leadership. Education is my priority because public schools are the foundation of our democracy. We must ensure that every child has a plan for success and can take advantage of local opportunities. I will work to create realistic, sustainable funding solutions. Billions in new state and voter-approved transportation investments will transform our region, but require strong oversight and leadership. I’ll demand accountability, transparency and protect the individuality of our district.”

Englund, who prefers the Republican party, states “I am running to be an independent voice for the Eastside; to stop a state income tax, prioritize funding our schools, and get traffic moving again. We in the 45th District have repeatedly said ‘no’ to an income tax, including a capital gains tax and Seattle’s proposed ‘high earner’ tax. New and higher taxes, including the car tab increase, hurt our community […]I will block tax increases that threaten to drive retirees from their lifelong homes and protect our quality of life by preventing legal heroin injection sites from being imposed on us.”

Not stating any party preference is Harris, who states “As a math teacher, I work every day to build lifelong positive outcomes for children. As an engineer, I have honed my skills as a problem solver and an independent thinker. We live in bitterly divided times, yet I have faith that we all share the same goal of a prosperous and fair state, where our children are well educated and everyone’s rights are upheld. We don’t have to settle for perpetual gridlock. I’ve heard from so many of you around the district and, overwhelmingly, the message is clear: We need effective, practical, fiscally responsible solutions. And we need them now.”

Information on all candidates and ballot measures can be found on the King County website as well as other counties where applicable.

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