These are Seattle Transit Blog’s endorsements for the August 1, 2017 primary elections outside Seattle. The primary is only relevant in races with more than two candidates, so we restrict our attention to those. As always, we choose candidates entirely based on their positions and record on transit and land use.

Manka Dhingra

45th Legislative District, Senate: Manka Dhingra supports the continued expansion of the regional transit network. Her main opponent, Republican party operative Jinyoung Lee Englund, is focused on “skyrocketing car tabs” and familiar but ill-defined promises to reduce traffic congestion. Lee Englund is likely to continue the current Senate majority’s attacks on Sound Transit if elected.

King County Executive: Dow Constantine.

Dow Constantine

It would take several pages to list all of Constantine’s accomplishments, and we would still have missed most of them. But just to be brief: ST3, ORCA LIFT, the multi-agency U-Link restructure, the end of Metro’s 40/40/20 rule that kept it from rolling out new service in Seattle, getting ST into the transit-oriented development and affordable housing business, … and the list goes on.

Constantine has no serious opposition, but we would be remiss in not honoring one of the most effective public servants King County has ever had.

Nancy Backus

Auburn Mayor: Nancy Backus is running for re-election. Sound Transit, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe, and the City of Auburn have been working together to build a third track in the BN&SF right-of-way (on which Sounder runs) through Auburn. Auburn and other regional commuters should be grateful Auburn has a leader at the helm who rolled out the red carpet for a third track instead of blocking it with red tape. Her main opponent is opposed to ST3.

Kirkland City Council, Position 7: Jon Pascal.

Pascal, having been appointed to the Council one year ago, is now running for a full-term. Pascal previously served a total of fourteen years on the city’s Transportation and Planning Commission. In private life, Pascal is a principal of a transportation planning company. He has been a leader on transit issues while on Council. Among his opponents, the more credible is Uzma Butte, who laudably advocates for more affordable housing and transit-oriented development. That’s welcome in increasingly unaffordable Kirkland, but we’re not sure any of the candidates would materially accelerate market-rate development. With complex transportation and transit implementations ahead, Pascal’s knowledge and experience will serve the city better.

Jeralee Anderson

Redmond City Council, Position 7: Jeralee Anderson emphasizes making Redmond safer and more accessible for pedestrians, bicycles and transit. Andersen is the co-founder of a company that works with government and private industry on green transportation projects. In sharp contrast, Jason Antonelli, her main opponent, has focused on auto traffic issues, viewing bike and pedestrian improvements as a distraction from faster car commute times. Predictably, he also opposed ST3 and has complained Downtown Redmond’s bike lanes and street grid repairs are not moving cars more quickly through city streets. Roy Captain, while less adamant than Antonelli, also puts too high a priority on “protecting” neighborhoods outside downtown and moving auto traffic.

12 Replies to “August 2017 Primary Endorsements Beyond Seattle”

  1. “We would be remiss in not honoring one of the most effective public servants King County has ever had.”

    Try, “we would be remiss in not honoring one of the most effective public servants King County AMERICA has ever had”!


    1. Being a carpetbagger, I’m not terribly familiar with the lyrics. But doesn’t “Bow Down to Constantine” fit the syllable count better?

      1. Much better – and because the song also references the Dardanelles, “Constantine” is a fitting replacement. (I suppose if his name were “Istanbul” that would’ve worked as well, but that’s nobody’s business but the Turks’.) ;-)

  2. One of the things I think is worth mentioning about these endorsements is the focus on transportation. The blog notes this already, but I just wanted to say that having meant some of the endorsements. They can be very experienced on transit, but not a good politician. Just knowing the subject doesn’t mean one is good at communicating it to others, working with others, or knowing how the area of transportation fits with the rest of the goals of a city.

    So use caution on these endorsements, as far as I can tell, all they really say is that the person agrees with STB on transit, but they may have no clue how to actually go about implementing that in their respective position if they get it.

  3. The control of the state Senate will be determined by the results of the Manka Dhingra / Jinyoung Lee Englund race. This seat is currently held by Dino Rossi (R) after Andy Hill died and gives the Republicans a single vote majority in the Senate. There is a third candidate, Parker Harris, who will likely siphon votes from one or both candidates, idk which.

    1. Third candidates no linger “siphon votes from” any candidate. They are eliminated in the jungle primary. There may be exceptions, but AFAIK all general elections in Washington, except the Presidential contest, are decided between two candidates.

      1. True. In a 3 way race, a weak 3rd party candidate is mostly irrelevant. If there are a lot of candidates, vote splitting can have a big impact. See the 2016 state treasurer and (likely) 2017 Seattle mayor primaries.

  4. I an upset that there is not a real opponent to The King County Executive for the City of Seattle Dow Constantine. Then maybe we could have an Executive for the whole county and not just Seattle.

      1. I don’t support deep sixing Sound Transit. I ride Link to work. My complaint about Sound Transit is in how it is administrated. The candidate you speak of does NOT have my support. Right now I will probably write in someone else’s name. I dislike ALL the candidates.

        Some people on this blog need to get out of your narrow Seattle mind set and realize that you can support an agency, like Sound Transit, and it’s mission and not support how it is fulfilling said mission.

  5. There should also have been an endorsement of Michelle Rylands for State Senate. I don’t know that she is particularly supportive of transit, nor is she against transit, but it is the 31st LD where transit is basically non-existent. What she would bring to the table is elimination of a State Senator, Phil Fortunato, who opposes all things progressive or liberal, at all costs, including transit. This is the same guy who introduced legislation to create a new county for everything in King County except Seattle, as a gesture to show how much he dislikes Seattle. His gesture was foolish and immature, in my opinion, and shows what kind of person he is. As with all things, Fortunato wants to cut any and all programs in order to lower taxes. Rylands, a PTA mom and military veteran, would bring an open mind to the table and would be open to working with other legislators to discuss solutions to problems. Her victory would also flip control of the State Senate to Democrats who are, generally speaking, more pro-transit than their Republican counterparts. Why just settle for a one-vote majority? Let’s make it a two-vote majority.

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