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Republicans sweep 5th District
SNOQUALMIE VALLEY _ Two incumbent Republicans will
continue to represent the 5th District in Olympia and an athletic-facility bond is
failing after local voters cast their ballots in the Nov. 7 general election.
Sen. Dino Rossi and Rep. Cheryl Pflug, both of Issaquah, were
re-elected to a second term in office by a wide margin of 5th District
voters. Rossi won in a landslide against Democratic challenger
Azziem Underwood, Renton, 68.7 percent to 31.3 percent (30,607 votes to
13,956 votes), and Pflug handily defeated Democrat Lori Bechtold, Renton,
61.5 percent to 38.5 percent (27,009 votes to 16,901 votes) for the Position 2 seat.
Updated vote totals were released Monday by the King County
Records and Elections Division, and a final tally won't be available until
county officials finish counting absentee ballots.
Pflug said government reform, transportation, education and
property tax relief are just some of the issues legislators will grapple with in
the upcoming session. She added that several initiatives that won the
approval of voters would affect legislative decisions.
"I think it will be a long session as we try to make the numbers
balance in a way that is consistent with what the voters want," she said.
As the Valley Record went to press Tuesday, a measure calling for
the construction of an outdoor track and football/soccer field at
Cedarcrest High School in Duvall didn't have the supermajority needed to pass.
According to the Records and Election Division, Riverview School
District's $2.995 million bond measure had garnered 59.9 percent of the vote
(3,516 votes to 2,359 votes). In Washington, a bond measure must receive at
least 60 percent of the vote to pass.
In any other election, 59 percent of the vote would be a landslide,
said Assistant Superintendent Michael Green.
"The supermajority that schools have to jump through is
incredible," he said.
Similar measures have failed four times since 1994. District
administrators and school board members tried to make this year's proposal as
palatable as possible, scaling the project back to just the athletic field and
track, bleachers capable of seating 750 people, restrooms, a concession
stand and lighting. If approved, the measure would cost taxpayers 13 cents
per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
If the bond measure ultimately fails, Green said the district
would continue to use the field at Tolt Middle School, as well as using other
schools' facilities for athletic practice and competition.
"Currently we have [physical-education] classes who have
inadequate facilities for education," Green
said. "We have athletic teams that drive 11 miles down the Valley. Our track
team practices in the hallways and in the commons because we don't have
"It's very difficult for scheduling, especially when you've got
different sports going on simultaneously."
In another 5th District race, Republican Glenn Anderson, Fall
City, won out against Democrat Di Irons of Sammamish for the Position 1 seat
in the state House of Representatives. Anderson received 54 percent of
the vote to Irons's 42.5 percent (24,137 votes to 19,006 votes).
Like Pflug, Anderson would like a more efficient state government,
and he said voters aren't satisfied with the status quo.
"It's time to start really doing the people's business and getting
some solutions," he said. "People want to
It will be Anderson's first term in the Legislature, and he said he is
looking forward to the challenge. At the same time, he appreciates
receiving the voters' trust.
"It's pretty humbling with being the voice of the people in
Olympia," he said.
In the 45th District, which includes Duvall and Carnation, incumbent
Position 2 Democrat Laura Ruderman defeated Republican Toby Nixon
by a vote of 53.7 to 46.3 percent. For the Position 1 seat, Republican
Kathy Lambert won easily over Democrat Jim Gordon, 66.8 percent to 33.2
In the 8th Congressional District, incumbent Republican Jennifer
Dunn was re-elected to her U.S. House of Representatives seat, defeating
Heidi Behrens-Benedict 62 percent to 35.7 percent (145,986 votes to
84,079 votes), according to the Secretary of State's office.
Her term, however, may be cut short depending on who wins
the presidential election. Dunn is expected to become a member of Texas
Gov. George W. Bush's cabinet if he is elected president. If that
happens, some political analysts have suggested that Rossi could be tapped to take
her place on Capitol Hill.
Republican Sen. Slade Gorton and Democrat Maria Cantwell are
locked in a tight race for Gorton's seat. The Secretary of State's office said
Gorton led Cantwell by a little more than 12,000 votes and had a 49 percent
to 48.4 percent edge over his challenger. As of earlier this week, Gorton
had collected 1,017,295 votes, and Cantwell had 1,004,763 votes.
In the race for governor, incumbent Democrat Gary Locke beat
out Republican John Carlson 58 percent to 40 percent (1,209,491 votes
to 835,067 votes). In a statement, he said his second term would focus on
education, transportation and water.
"We've gone through one of the most exciting exercises in
democracy in more than 100 years," he said,
alluding to close races in Washington and for the presidency. "This
energy will feed us and spur us on."
Several initiatives were passed by voters, including a ban on
body-gripping traps for animals and measures to reduce class sizes and
increase teachers' salaries. I-745, which would have spent 90 percent of
transportation funds on roads, failed, as did an initiative establishing charter schools.
I-722, which would limit property tax increases to 2 percent annually
and void some 1999 tax and fee increases, was approved 56.5 percent to
43.6 percent by voters. Several cities filed lawsuits against the initiative
after Election Day, with the Carnation City Council voting to join the city of
Seattle in its suit.
Mayor Bob Patterson said the initiative would hurt the city financially.
"It would be quite harmful to us, and it's our understanding from
the advice we get that it would be unconstitutional," he said.