Campaigning starts in earnest as primary results trickle in

Just hours after the ballots had closed, King County Elections released the preliminary results of primary election. With a mere 17.84 percent of the vote counted, incumbent Dave Asher leads the race for Kirkland City Council Position 6 with 51.35 percent of the vote. Asher is followed by Jim Hart (26.89%) and Martin Morgan (21.17%). In the race for Kirkland City Council Position 2, Jason Gardner currently has 47.28 percent of the vote compared to incumbent Bob Sternoff’s 46.20 percent and Chuck Hinson's 5.87 percent (Hinson dropped out of the race after the cutoff to remove his name from the ballot).

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Only the top two candidates for each position will advance to the November General Election.

Campaigning starts in earnest today. The first salvo has come in the form of the following press release from incumbent Kirkland City Councilmember Dave Asher:

Asher pleased with majority vote in Primary, but annoyed that opponent has not done his homework

One other Kirkland City Council race was on the primary ballot, and incumbent Dave Asher of Rose Hill took a comfortable early lead, with 51.35 percent of the Position 6 vote (3,942 votes). Next was James A. Hart of Houghton with 26.89 percent (2,064) of the vote, followed by Martin Morgan of Rose Hill with 21.17 percent (1,625).

“I am certainly glad to have a majority of those Primary votes reported so far,” Asher said, “but it is too close for comfort to that 50% threshold.”

Looking forward, Asher said, “I need to spend significantly more time with Kirkland voters to ensure I have a good understanding of their current concerns and aspirations, firsthand.”

In reference to recent notices from another campaign wanting to limit the number of public forums, Asher declared, “I want to meet any Kirkland voters that want to meet with me, and I’ll be on a lot of doorsteps in the next several months.”

Concerning his challenger in the General Election, Asher said, “My apparent opponent, Mr Hart, has finally begun to take positions in recent responses to media inquiries. He mistakenly proclaims that I support the ‘Head Tax,’ and he raises the issue that the City needs help to ‘live within its means.’ In lobbing out unsubstantiated accusations, Mr Hart demonstrates he has not done his homework; nor does he do justice to the very hard work and thoughtful approach that the City Council has taken over many years of budget reductions and fiscal stress.” Asher said, “First, I've voted and spoken out against the "Head Tax;" and, second, Kirkland just got its AAA rating reaffirmed within a week of the federal government’s downgrade. According to The Bond Buyer, a daily newspaper of public finance, less than 4% of U.S. public finance ratings currently demonstrate the strongest credit characteristics consistent with a triple-A rating.”

On other issues raised by his opponent, Asher commented, “Mr Hart does have a forward-looking issue: dealing with the new Kirkland residents; however, he is out of touch with what has been going on over the past 20-48 months in preparation for this historic annexation. Once the decision to annex was made, I have worked hard to ensure that we carried out this important mission in the very best way we could. As a result, I have received the endorsement of many community leaders among Kirkland’s new residents. I will continue to work to achieve equity and balance across the entire city the rest of the time I’m on the Council, I am sure. ”