Election Day 2013! Get your ballot in by 8 pm

November 5th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off

We photographed Tracy and Donnie a short time ago at the King County Elections ballot-dropoff van, which is parked at Greenbridge (9720 8th SW) until 8 tonight. If you take your ballot to the van, or to another dropbox (nearest one is in Burien) or dropoff spot, you don’t have to use a postage stamp, but you do if you choose to send your ballot in via postal mail. Lots at stake in this election, both regionally and statewide; as usual on Election Night, one round of results is expected, around 8:15 pm, so we’ll have key updates here as soon as possible after that.

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Two days left to vote! Remember White Center has a ballot-dropoff van

August 5th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Election, Greenbridge, White Center news Comments Off

Just a reminder that the new-this-election ballot-dropoff van is at Greenbridge Library (9720 8th SW) today until 5 pm and again tomorrow – Election Day – from 10 am until 8 pm (which is the very last moment you can vote). You also can send your ballot in via postal mail, but if you do that, you need to make sure it has proper postage (dropping it off at the van, or any one of the county’s other dropoff spots, including a van in West Seattle and fixed locations including Burien City Hall, is free).

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White Center gets a ballot ‘drop van’ for next month’s election

July 17th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off

Remember when the White Center Library used to have a round-the-clock ballot drop box for elections? So do we. It’s not coming back (so far), but the next best thing has been announced – WC will get a ballot “drop van” for the coming election. Ballots for the August 6th primary go out today.checkbox.jpg. And in the final days before Election Day, you’ll be able to drop your ballot off at Greenbridge Library (9720 8th SW). There’s also a van in West Seattle, and 24-hour dropboxes in other areas of the county. Here’s the map showing all drop vans and 24-hour dropboxes. The county says the drop vans will be available on Saturday, August 3rd, and Monday, August 5th, 10 am-5 pm, and on Election Day, Tuesday, August 6th, 10 am-8 pm; the 24-hour dropboxes will be ready to use as of tomorrow. Among the issues in this election: A levy to raise money for King County Parks.

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King County’s second vote count out: No change in annexation vote

November 7th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news Comments Off

It appears that about 300 more votes were counted for the Burien-annexation proposal today – King County Elections has just released its updated county vote totals, a few hours later than expected because of some equipment proposal. The margin remains the same:

For annexation 1278 35.74%
Against annexation 2298 64.26%

Here’s a text list with all county results, if you’re interested. Renton’s West Hill Annexation proposal is also still on the road to defeat – 45 percent for, 55 percent against.

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Burien annexation or not? ‘No’ leading in first results on Election Night 2012

November 6th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Annexation supporter Gill Loring, left, with Burien City Manager 8:23 PM: Mike Martin at pro-annexation party, pre-results)
King County has just released its first round of results – the only round it will release tonight, with the next update due late tomorrow afternoon. For the annexation measure – should most of what’s left of unincorporated North Highline annex to Burien or not – the early results are 63 percent against annexation, 36 percent for. See them on the county site here.

Other notes of interest – Renton has an annexation measure which also is behind; the King County Sheriff’s Race has John Urquhart ahead of appointed incumbent Steve Strachan.

WCN was at the pro-annexation gathering when the first results came in; supporter Barbara Dobkin, and Christine Waldman (also on NHUAC), will say only so far that it’s a “tough election.”

9:25 PM: Here are the exact numbers, which stand till tomorrow’s count:
Against annexation: 2,085
For annexation: 1,195

In the sheriff’s race: Urquhart 254,600 (57 percent), Strachan 187,491 (42 percent).

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Latest from King County Elections, in case you’re wondering

November 6th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news Comments Off

As expected, King County Elections is projecting its first and only count for the evening will be made public around 8:15. Here are a couple other notes just shared in a news release from election HQ:

The first set of general election results are scheduled to be posted to the King County Elections website at about 8:15 p.m. Results will include tabulation of at least 520,000 ballots.

“This is a record-setting election for King County,” said Sherril Huff, Director of Elections. “Not only have we set a new record for number of voters registered this year, we will also have more ballots counted for tonight’s results report than in any previous election, including the 2008 presidential election when we still had polling places.”

There will be only one results report tonight. The Elections Department will update results again tomorrow by 4:30 p.m. and most subsequent weekdays until election certification on Nov. 27. Note that results may not be updated every day if there are not enough ballots to maintain voter privacy.

Voters have up until Nov. 26 to resolve any signature issues before the election is certified.

We’ll post the annexation-measure results from tonight as soon as we get them, in a separate story.

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TO ANNEX OR NOT? YOUR VIEW: From Kathi Wheeler, against Burien annexation

November 6th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news Comments Off

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whether you are against or for Burien annexation, you have a few more hours to submit your view – without attacks on the other side. This short note is the sixth we have received since extending that invitation here on Sunday, four from supporters, two from opponents. whitecenternow@gmail.com

By Kathi “George” Wheeler
Special to White Center Now

I guess for anyone who has not sent in their ballot yet and has not decided what to do in this race for to be Burien or not to be Burien…

Please vote against it. I don’t have a lot of time or even energy to go into all the reasons why annexing into Burien scares me so bad or has my stomach in such knots, but it does.

I just told a friend the other day that I think I could stomach Romney for President far better than I could stomach Burien being my city. Enough said. It’s not a good thing for our neighborhood.

Kathi Wheeler
aka. george
Proud and involved community member/resident of Rat City

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TO ANNEX OR NOT? YOUR VIEW: From Eduardo Brambila, against Burien annexation

November 5th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news 9 Comments »

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Sunday, we extended an invitation for anyone – organization, business, private citizen, etc. – to submit for publication their pitch for why voters should go their way in the vote on whether Burien should annex most of the rest of North Highline. No negativity about the opposition or why the other view is wrong – just, why you believe your view is right. We have received six essays so far, the first four from Burien-annexation supporters, and the following is the first from someone who opposes it. We’re still accepting essays (that follow the rules) through Tuesday afternoon. Please send to whitecenternow@gmail.com – thank you!

By Eduardo Brambila
Special to White Center Now

Dear undecided voters,

This annexation process has been very difficult to understand at times. As a small business owner here in White Center, I was extremely anxious to find out what all this meant. I have spent MONTHS researching, reading up on what annexation in the area means, asking folks from BOTH sides to describe to me how this WOULD AFFECT ME.

From the anti side, I heard a lot about taxes going up. Now, as a just-starting-out business.. of course extra taxes will make it tighter on my budget. I’m working on improving my shop’s appearance and upgrading equipment to provide better and more efficient services. The pro side mentions better representation at City Hall; that very much interests me.

But after some more thinking, I wanted to see how this would affect our community as a whole. And I must say, our community is filled with diversity, cultures, and very large economic gaps. My background is only part in the graphics business, I’ve actually dedicated quite a few years in public health and community organizing. From working with homeless folks to folks in recovery. Aside from me considering the factors in how it would affect my business, I really care about how it would affect those folks we provided services to.

With all (the) research I’ve done, I cannot see how Burien has the capacity to provide the much needed services White Center needs. It’s just not adding up. Many folks want to “kick out the drunks on the street,” which quite frankly doesn’t just happen overnight. PLUS, you have to consider where some of these folks would be going. If that means jail… you’re GOING to pay for that.

I’m for a stronger, more supportive community, and I just don’t believe being incorporated into Burien will provide that. I am NOT advocating for Seattle, let’s be clear. I’m for us staying as we are on the map, and work together as a community to revitalize this area. If Burien down the line can give us a better plan and MORE services, then hey.. maybe then. But right now it just doesn’t seem plausible. And from what I understand, they cannot force us into annexation (nor Burien – nor Seattle).

I love this area, with its quirks and faults… all in all. I’ve been in the area 10+ years and I want to see it improved, and that’s why I am voting AGAINST ANNEXATION and I urge you to do the same. Together we can we do better.

-Eduardo Brambila
Mago Designs

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TO ANNEX OR NOT? YOUR VIEW: From pro-annexation Burien resident Joey Martinez

November 5th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news 1 Comment »

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Sunday, we extended an invitation for anyone – organization, business, private citizen, etc. – to submit for publication their pitch for why voters should go their way in the vote on whether Burien should annex most of the rest of North Highline. No negativity about the opposition or why the other view is wrong – just, why you believe your view is right. We have received four essays so far, all from Burien-annexation supporters, nothing from any opponents (as of 4 pm today). On Sunday, we published one from Barbara Dobkin and one from four White Center businesspeople. Today, #3, from the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council; and here’s #4. We’re still accepting essays (that follow the rules) through Tuesday afternoon. Please send to whitecenternow@gmail.com – thank you!

By Joey Martinez
Special to White Center Now

Since the founding of this great country we, as Americans, have come to learn that by uniting we are stronger. Which is why, as a Burien resident, I have come to support annexation. By re-uniting as a community we can work off of each others strengths and weaknesses to make a more perfect union.

When I originally ran for Burien City Council in 2011 I was opposed to annexation. After many hours of independent research I came to feel that a reunification of our now two communities was in the best interest for me, my family, and my community, as well as you and your family and your community. No one has ever said that annexation will be easy, if it were there would be no opposition. There will be challenges, but by uniting together we can do amazing things.

Our children already attend the same schools, go to the same libraries, play on the same sports teams, and play at the same parks. However, as a volunteer coach for the Burien Bearcats I have come to notice one thing. That though North Highline and Burien kids have much in common, they have much separating them. When setting up communications with the parents I noticed my Burien and SeaTac kids had internet and computer access readily avaible at home. By and large, my North Highline kids did not. This is just a sliver of what I noticed from kids who only live blocks away from each other and goes much deeper than just a computer at home.

For me, annexation became about not denying a fair and equal opportunity for all of our kids in the Highline School district to succeed. Our fates are already tied together. As one community suffers or succeeds, the neighboring community will suffer or succeed.

Burien offers local representation, the ability to direct local policy, and the ability to focus resources in the way North Highline residents have never experienced. Having local control and a voice in how your community is shaped is something not to be taken lightly. Burien has come a long way since 1993. If it weren’t for the worst recession since the Great Depression, where would we be today?

As a part of Burien’s first annexation of Manhattan (1999), I can say that there will be bumps in the road. Change is never easy. It’s like growing up and moving out of your parents house. YOU will have the rights and responsibilities of YOUR future. No longer will YOU be reliant on mom and dad (King County) telling you what’s going to happen in YOUR community. No longer will YOU be powerless. No longer will YOU be voiceless. If YOU don’t like something in YOUR community YOU must do something about it. WIth Burien YOU will have that power and ability.

What do you say, North Highline? Check YES if you like Burien and want control of YOUR future.

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TO ANNEX OR NOT? YOUR VIEW: From North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

November 5th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news 4 Comments »

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Sunday, we extended an invitation for anyone – organization, business, private citizen, etc. – to submit for publication their pitch for why voters should go their way in the vote on whether Burien should annex most of the rest of North Highline. No negativity about the opposition or why the other view is wrong – just, why you believe your view is right. We have received four essays so far, all from Burien-annexation supporters, nothing yet from any opponents. On Sunday, we published one from Barbara Dobkin and one from four White Center businesspeople. Here’s the third; the fourth is in queue for later this afternoon, and we’re still accepting essays (that follow the rules) through Tuesday afternoon. Please send to whitecenternow@gmail.com – thank you!

By the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council
Special to White Center Now

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (NHUAC) urges a YES vote for annexation of “Area Y” to Burien (Proposition 1 at the end of your ballot). Our support is based in large part on the positive impact of Burien’s 2010 annexation of our neighbors to the south. Roads have been paved, long neglected parks have been improved, and the people have been given a voice and a say in their future.

A Burien annexation will ensure that the White Center and Boulevard Park Libraries will not be moved out of the communities they currently serve. Without Burien’s advocacy these essential community resources would have already been lost, but without annexation, according to the King County Library Board, they will be closed.

Staying Unincorporated is not an option. At NHUAC’s October 4 Annexation Forum, State Senator Sharon Nelson and Karen Freeman from King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s office made it clear that the State Growth Management Act and King County Policies, require that we join a city. King County does not have the same taxing authority that cities do to provide continued services to urban unincorporated areas. Under the county, services will continue to be cut and diminish our quality of life.

Our King County Council Representative, Joe McDermott, noted that the county’s new road service plan will eliminate any maintenance or repair to approximately 36 miles of our residential streets. Additionally, he discussed other ways that remaining unincorporated would negatively impact us.

King County Sheriff Steve Strachan, Burien’s Assistant Police Chief Carl Cole, Fire Chief of Burien and Normandy Park and acting Fire Chief of North Highline, Mike Marrs, and Burien City Manager Mike Martin also shared pertinent information and answered questions. We highly recommend if you have any doubts about voting YES for annexation that you view the video of the forum that can be accessed on the NHUAC website northhighlineuac.org.

If we join our neighbors who annexed to Burien in 2010, we will be slightly more than half the population of Burien. Our taxes, which will be invested in our community, will increase approximately $10 a month. A small price to pay for the opportunity to live in a safe healthy community, where we will finally have a say in the issues that directly impact our quality of life.

As the late Deputy Steve Cox, a proponent of our annexation to Burien, often said, “What you see is what you get.”

Vote YES for a brighter future, vote YES for Burien.

-North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

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Dear everybody who cares about this area’s future: An invitation

November 4th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news Comments Off

You might call this a White Center Now editorial, though we don’t take positions on political races or candidates.

With less than three days till voting ends and vote-counting begins – if anyone hasn’t voted, those who feel passionately about Burien annexation, for or against, have very little time to make their point one last time.

There are people on both sides, deeply invested in this community’s future, eloquent, caring, hard-working.

We invite anyone on either yes or no side, whether you’re formally affiliated with a group or not, to write a pitch for votes and send it in for publication here on WCN – a pitch why you believe your position, yes or no, is superior, and why it would mean the best possible outcome for a citizen of North Highline. As long as it doesn’t make an attack on anyone – in other words, your argument about why your side is best CANNOT include “our side is best because the other side XXX” – and sticks to what is positive about your position, we’ll publish it.

So far, we’re sorry to say, we haven’t received anything along those lines from anyone. We have been semi-bombarded, otherwise, with reports and contentions about signs and where they are and where they are not. We don’t have independent corroborations of anyone’s contention – no “caught in the act” video, etc. – nor do we have the time to stake out to see what’s really happening. We also have received a thing or two about some sort of past grudge or squabble.

We have covered elections for 30 years, big and small, in four states. What people want to know is “what will you/this do for me,” from your side, about your side.

This election is about the future of thousands of people. Not about what happened last night or last year.

If anyone wants to talk/write about the future, we’re ready and waiting to publish that. Short or long. whitecenternow@gmail.com

Thanks! – Tracy Record, White Center Now editor/co-publisher

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Pro-annexation signs where they shouldn’t be? Here’s how to report them

October 31st, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news 3 Comments »

On behalf of the pro-annexation campaign, Liz Giba wants to get out this message: She says some annexation-support signs have been moved – by parties unknown – to places they shouldn’t be, like trees and utility poles. “We didn’t do it,” she says, and they want to help get those signs down. So if you have seen a pro-annexation sign in a place like that, please e-mail vote4burien@gmail.com.

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Election 2012: With days till voting, annexation opponents take a YouTube turn

October 14th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Annexation, Election, White Center news 13 Comments »

King County says ballots go in the mail this Wednesday – which means voting will begin on North Highline annexation as well as many other issues and races. The final City of Burien-presented annexation-information forum is in White Center this Thursday (6 pm October 18th at Cascade Middle School). Annexation opponents, meantime, have taken their campaign to YouTube. A series of videos has turned up, including clips promoted by commenters including the URLs in comments on the WCN report about the October 4th North Highline Unincorporated Area Council forum.

Cross-referencing back to YT, the channel where these were posted (partial screengrab above) features 14 anti-annexation videos as of this writing, 10 featuring White Center resident Pat LeMoine, four featuring White Center resident Mark Ufkes, who in two of them holds a sign reading BURIEN IS GOING BROKE. In one of LeMoine’s videos, he calls Burien “unpatriotic” with a “commie, fascist, pinko attitude” for having a fireworks ban (as do 60 other cities around the state, including two of Burien’s neighbors, Seattle and Tukwila); he also takes on taxes, police, and fire services, as well as saying he’s concerned that Burien is not prepared to handle White Center’s ethnic diversity.

P.S. The King County Voters’ Guide page for the North Highline annexation measure, with pro/con statements and rebuttals as well as a link to the full text of the resolution sending annexation to the ballot, is here.

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Video: Sheriff’s candidates headline North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Public Safety Forum

September 13th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Election, King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off

The two candidates for King County Sheriff on the November 6th ballot came to White Center tonight and spent a spirited hour trying to win votes. They are current Sheriff Steve Strachan – appointed when Sue Rahr resigned – and challenger John Urquhart. The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council invited them for a forum-within-a-forum at tonight’s quarterly Public Safety Forum, and we have it all on video.NHUAC’s Richard Miller introduced them.

The agenda for tonight’s forum also included disaster preparedness and a crime update, delivered by White Center’s storefront deputy BJ Myers, whose 12-minute appearance is also on video. Among other things, he talked about the strong-arm robberies that led to recent arrests (as reported here):

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Election Day – which means tonight’s your deadline to vote

August 7th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off

checkbox.jpgDon’t skip voting in today’s election – two major ballot measures, and the judicial races (as explained here), will be settled today. You can take your ballot to the dropoff box at Burien City Hall (400 SW 152nd), or the “dropoff van” at West Seattle Stadium (off 35th SW south of Avalon Way). Or, if you’re mailing your ballot, make sure it’ll be postmarked today. For your online sample ballot and last-minute info about candidates and races, here’s the official pamphlet.

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Election 2012: Former KCSO spokesperson John Urquhart running for sheriff

April 24th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Election, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

He was a familiar face on TV for years as spokesperson for the King County Sheriff’s Office, till he retired a few months back after 23 years with the department. Today, John Urquhart announced he wants to get back into KCSO – at the top. Here’s the announcement and photo he provided:

Today I am announcing I will run for the office of King County Sheriff. It was not a decision made lightly, but made after careful consideration, and with input from of a variety of individuals both inside and outside the Sheriff’s Office, as well as my family.

I have two messages today. The first is for the citizens of King County. The second will be for the nearly 700 deputies in the Sheriff’s Office.

To the citizens:

My campaign for King County Sheriff will be based on leadership and accountability. The Sheriff’s Office is at a crossroads. I don’t want us to go down the road where we run the risk of losing the support of the citizens we serve. If we go down that wrong road, it will not be because our deputies don’t care. It will be because of a lack of leadership within the agency.

The citizens of King County want many things from their Sheriff’s Office. They want a police agency that is tough on crime, but understands you can’t arrest your way out of every problem in society.

They want a Sheriff’s Office that listens to the citizens it serves. Listens to what the citizens are saying about what is important to them, and THEN takes action. They do not want a police agency that has the attitude of “we’re the cops and you’re not!”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Election 2012: Republicans caucus at Evergreen Campus in White Center; statewide results now coming in

March 3rd, 2012 Tracy Posted in Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off

Before the night’s out, we should know how our state’s Republicans voted in today’s presidential “straw poll.” That was one of two main tasks they faced as they gathered this morning for precinct caucuses all around our state, including White Center, south West Seattle, north Burien and vicinity gathering at the Evergreen Campus. We stopped by about midway through, to get a look at the turnout; 34th District Republicans chair Jim Clingan led the event, and told us about 200 people turned out:

(This photo and next one, courtesy Dick Hurley)
Campaign signs were low key .. we saw a few Ron Paul signs on a table outside, and someone carrying others out of the main room – but there were some cheery touches:

As we write this, the results are starting to come in – you can follow them on the Washington State Republican Party’s Tumblr site.

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Election 2012: Precinct caucuses coming up

February 26th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off

Next Saturday, Republicans in our state hold precinct caucuses – with White Center a central gathering point, 10 am-noon at the Evergreen Campus – and since the presidential nomination isn’t locked up by any candidate yet, the attention is likely to be intense. Democrats have caucuses in April. Info on both can be found in this story from our partner site, West Seattle Blog.

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Election 2011: Winners include McDermott, Giba, Curry, and, in Burien, annexation opponent Edgar

November 9th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Annexation, burien, Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off

In tonight’s election, though the results won’t be final for weeks, some things are clear after just the first round of ballot-counting. White Center’s King County Councilmember Joe McDermott has won election to his first full four-year term, leading Diana Toledo, 67%-32%. … In the North Highline Fire District contest, Liz Giba leads Mark Ufkes, 52%-47% … In the only contest for Highline School Board, incumbent president Sili Savusa is losing to Tyrone Curry, who has gained some fame for his lottery win and subsequent donation, 55% for Curry to 44% for Savusa … Burien had three council races on the ballot, and one of the city’s most outspoken opponents of annexing White Center (and vicinity) has defeated an incumbent: Bob Edgar has 60% of the vote, to 40% for Gordon Shaw. In the other two races, incumbent Lucy Krakowiak - one of two “no” votes on last month’s annexation resolution – leads former North Highline Unincorporated Area Council chair Greg Duff, 64%-36%, while pro-annexation incumbent Jerry Robison leads Debi Wagner, 54%-46%. Next ballot count is due around 4:30 tomorrow afternoon.

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Election 2011: Results of note for White Center/North Highline/environs

August 16th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off

King County Elections has released its one-and-only Election Night tally, with more results promised tomorrow afternoon. Of note for this area:

Of interest if you use the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Seattle Referendum 1 (tunnel-related): 60% yes, 40% no

King County Council District 8 (which includes White Center and environs): Joe McDermott* 67%, Diana Toledo 27%, Goodspaceguy 5%

King County Veterans/Human Services Levy: 66% yes, 34% no

And in neighboring-maybe-annexing Burien, former North Highline Unincorporated Area Council president Greg Duff is running second to Lucy Krakowiak in the City Council Position 2 race.

Full King County-wide results here; next count, tomorrow afternoon.

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