Story Summary

Latest 2013 Election Results

ElectionAbove are the latest stories on the different elections occurring around Washington state on Nov. 5. Below are some of the latest numbers from the biggest local and state races as posted at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday night.

I-517: Initiatives and Referendum Process 

No — 691,220 votes, 61.1%

Yes — 440,589 votes, 38.9%

I-522: Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food 

No — 632,869 votes, 54.1%

Yes — 537,973 votes, 45.9%

Seattle Mayor 

Ed Murray — 64,177 votes, 55.3%

Mike McGinn — 50,966 votes, 44 %

SeaTac Proposition 1: $15 minimum wage 

Yes — 2,089 votes, 53.0%

No — 1,853 votes, 47.0%

Seattle Council Districts 

Yes — 69,621 votes, 64.8%

No — 37,831 votes, 35.2%

Seattle Council, Position 2 

Richard Conlin — 55,543 votes, 52.8%

Kshama Sawant — 49,363 votes, 46.9%

Legislative District 26, State Senator

Jan Angel R– 17,548 votes, 51.8%

Nathan Schlicher D — 16,311 votes, 48.2%



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Local News

Senate majority hangs on tight race

AngelTACOMA — The race to fill Congressman Derek Kilmer’s seat in the Washington state Senate was too close too call Tuesday night, drawing out the most expensive Legislative race in state history just a tad longer.

Jan Angel (R- Port Orchard) held a slight lead over Nathan Schlicher (D- Gig Harbor) Tuesday night in the special election to fill freshman Congressman’s Kilmer’s seat in the state’s 26th Legislative District that represents parts of Pierce and Kitsap Counties.

Angel held 51.4 percent of the vote to Schlicher’s 48.6 percent Tuesday night, with 27,570 votes counted. But Schlicher was by no means conceding, the Tacoma News Tribune reported, saying late ballots typically tend to trend Democrat.

“By no means is it over, and we’re excited to see where it goes,” Schlicher told the News Tribune.

Schlicher was appointed to Kilmer’s vacated seat in January. State Democrats and Republicans poured a lot of money into the race, as Republicans maintain a 1-vote lead as the Senate Majority Coalition, and a shift the other way could greatly affect bargaining power. According to the Tribune, both candidates spent nearly #3 million on campaigning.

A win for Schlicher would mean a divided Senate and a fight for each vote moving into the 2014 Legislative Session.

Updated election numbers were expected around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Local News

McGinn: ‘Leave a place better than when you found it’

SEATTLE — Supporters of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn wouldn’t let him concede victory to Ed Murray Tuesday night.

photo“You guys are awfully sweet,” McGinn told the crowd after the first day of vote results showed him trailing Murray by 13 points. “You’re making me feel like those numbers are reversed.”

But the reality was that Murray was holding a seemingly insurmountable 56-43% lead over McGinn.

McGinn said, “You want to leave a place better than when you found it,” and told his supporters that he believes he’s done that during his four years as Seattle mayor, doubling the family and education levy, pushing through paid sick leave, and brokering an arena deal for the eventual return of an NBA team

Critics of the mayor said McGinn’s politics were too combative. His opponent had the support of most of the other City Council members, along with the city attorney and King County sheriff. But the mayor refused to speculate on why his message didn’t seen to resonate with voters.

“That’s all for the Monday morning quarterbacking,” said McGinn. “For today, I’m just thankful for all of the work all of these great people did on behalf of my campaign.”

pcvoteTACOMA — Tacoma’s Proposition 1 to raise utilities taxes 2% in order to pay for street improvements appears headed for defeat, results showed Tuesday night.

With 22,856 votes counted, the no vote was 59% and the yes vote was 41%.

Opponents of the measure feared the higher taxes on the utilities would simply be passed on to customers in the form of higher rates.

The measure would have raised up to $11 million to fill potholes and make other improvements.

i-522SEATTLE — Washington Initiative 522, which would require labels on products containing genetically modified organisms, appeared headed to defeat in election returns Tuesday night. But supporters weren’t conceding.

In what could be the most expensive political campaign in the state’s history — it’s been reported that more than $30 million has been spent and most of it came from out-of-state donors — this hotly contentious issue was shot down in California’s general election last year. Television ads in support of the proposal and against ran night and day in Washington state in leading up to the vote.

With 986,530 votes counted, 55% had voted no on I-522 and 45% had voted yes.

“Thank you to everyone who voted, volunteered, donated, and supported this effort,” said Delana Jones, campaign manager for Yes on 522. “Due to Washington state’s vote-by-mail system, we don’t have a final tally of the votes tonight. Please stay tuned for more information in the following days. We’ll have regular evening updates as counties report voting results.”

Votes will continue to be counted, as mail-in ballots postmarked through Tuesday come into the ballot processing and county facilities.




Courtesy: The Stand

SEATAC, Wash. — The SeaTac ‘Good Jobs Initiative’ to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for workers in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and at airport-related businesses was winning 54-46%, with 3,283 votes counted Tuesday night.

Under the mail-in voting system in Washington state, ballots mailed with Tuesday’s postmark are still counted once they come in. So votes will continue to be counted.

Could the small Seattle suburb of SeaTac set a national precedent?

The measure, prompted by frustration over a lack of a federal wage increase initiative, isn’t just on Washington state’s ballot as New Jersey, Alaska, South Dakota and Idaho either have it on the ballot or are working to gather signatures. 

Supporters of the proposal were celebrating Tuesday night’s election results.

“The victory in SeaTac means that workers at the Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King,  and Starbucks at our airport will see their pay rise to $15/hour along with thousands of others,” said Ryan Parker, a fast food striker who works at Wendy’s in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. “If they can do it in SeaTac, we can do it in Seattle, too.”

The proposal, if it is approved, will ensure a $15 minimum wage for more than 6,000 workers in and around the airport.

SEATTLE — State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, appeared to be headed for victory in Seattle’s mayoral race Tuesday night, taking a large lead — 56-43% — over Mayor Mike McGinn with about 40 percent of the votes reported.

‘We believe we won, yes,” Murray told a reporter late Tuesday night.

Indeed, The Seattle Times front-page headline Wednesday morning blared in big, bold type, “It’s Mayor Murray”

murrayThe first day’s ballot count by King County Elections had 50,938 votes for Murray and 39,124 votes for McGinn, who was seeking his second term in office.

“The votes are in,” McGinn told his supporters in what sounded at points almost like a concession speech.  But as supporters yelled no, McGinn added, “But there’s more votes. We’re not done.”

McGinn finished up his remarks by saying the last four years had made him “the happiest in the world.”

McGinn, while the incumbent, found himself in the position of underdog in this race. It could be because he’s been dogged by criticism that he’s a somewhat thorny mayor — willing to go to the mat for issues he vehemently supports — and he’s faced criticism concerning downtown safety and the police department’s use of excessive force that brought the Department of Justice to town to try to rectify the situation.

Murray, on the other hand, could be viewed as an establishment wonk who has 18 years of experience as a state lawmaker under his belt but no experience managing a large, metropolitan city, although he can lay claim to penning Referendum 74 which legalized same-sex marriage in the state. He says he will be more collaborative than McGinn, but a look at a lot of his proposed agenda items don’t differ all that much from McGinn’s — each candidate says they favor more public transit and universal kindergarten, for example, so this one is really up to the voter’s to decide who they are more comfortable with taking over the reins of the city.

Initiative 522: Losing 53-47% with 811,356 votes counted.

In what could be the most expensive political campaign in the state’s history — it’s been reported that more than $30 million has been spent and most of it came from out-of-state donors — this hotly contentious issue was shot down in California’s general election last year, and if it did pass here, Washington would lay claim to being the first state in the country to require labeling on genetically modified foods. Pundits believe I-522 will get a supportive nod on the western side of the state, but the rest of Washington, including its agricultural heartland, could easily step up and swing this to a no vote.

‘Good Jobs Initiative’:  Winning 54-46% with 3,283 votes counted in city of SeaTac. Could the small burg of SeaTac set a national precedent? It could if the initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for airport and hotel workers passes. The measure, prompted by frustration over a lack of a federal wage increase initiative, isn’t just on Washington state’s ballot as New Jersey, Alaska, South Dakota and Idaho either have it on the ballot or are working to gather signatures. It’s also a main platform issue for socialist city council candidate Kshama Sawant — she’s considered an outsider in the race, but a number of low-earning workers should rally behind her calls for a higher minimum wage, public transit expansion, affordable housing and other socially driven agenda items.

For a list of the candidates and issues on the ballot, go the King County website. And hang on — the first ballot results will be released shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday. After that you can see King County results here, county results here and statewide results here.

SEATTLE — The most expensive and most contentious item on the ballot year is Initiative 522, the measure to require labels on genetically engineered foods.  Nearly $25 million has been spent for and against the effort, making it one of the most costly campaigns in state history.

If I-522 is approved, Washington would be the first state to implement a genetically engineered labeling program.

“It’s about having a label, so you have more information, so you can make the best choice for you when you buy your groceries,” said Elizabeth Larter, spokeswoman for the Yes on I-522 campaign.

i-522The required label would actually be a sentence that would read:  “Partially produced with genetic engineering.”  And that would have to be on the front of the package — not on the side, not on the top, but on the front.

“Information is only useful if it’s accurate, and that’s where Initiative 522 fails consumers,” said Dana Bieber of the No on I-522 campaign.  “It is incomplete, inconsistent and inaccurate.  It provides misleading information to consumers.”

Health Effects

I-522 proponents say they don’t want this to be a debate about the safety of genetically engineered or modified foods, but clearly that’s a big undercurrent of this campaign.

“If GMOs are so great and are helping the world and helping farmers, then why aren’t they proud to have that on their label?” asked Larter.  “Why is the grocery manufacturers association, based in Washington D.C., trying to keep us in the dark about our food?”

Bieber cites hundreds of studies she argues prove that GE foods are healthy and safe.  “These are the foods that we have been eating for over 20 years,” she said.  “Literally millions of people have eaten trillions of meals with GE ingredients and there’s not been one single health consequence to that.”

Label Exemptions

The main argument against I-522 is that it doesn’t apply to everything.  Indeed, opponents say that 70 percent of food would be exempt.  For example, labels wouldn’t be required on beer or wine.  Here’s another:  I-522 wouldn’t apply to a soda you buy at a fountain, but it would for a soda you buy in a can.  How about a delivered pizza? No label on that.  But a frozen pizza from a store, yes.

“We can’t confuse the right to know, with knowing the wrong information,” said Bieber.

But supporters argue that they are just following the U.S. government`s existing food laws, which typically require nutrition labels only on packaged items in a grocery store.

Food Costs

So what about costs?  The sides are very far apart on that.  Opponents argue I-522 will raise food prices for the average family of four by more than $400 a year; opponents say, no way, the costs will only be negligible.

“In the 64 other countries that already label, there’s been no evidence of price increases,” said Larter.  “Why would adding just a couple of words to the front of the package cost consumers hundreds of dollars?”

Bieber argues that ignores a big reality of the business.

“It’s not really about relabeling, it’s about having to remake the products,” she said.  “What our food producers here in the state of Washington would have to do, just for Washington, they would have to remake their foods with higher priced, non-ingredients in order to avoid placing a warning label on them,” she said.