Sammamish voters bucked some state trends on initiatives

January 11, 2012

By Caleb Heeringa

Sammamish voters were gung-ho in their support for privatized liquor sales and even more lukewarm on Tim Eyman’s tolling initiative than voters statewide.

An analysis of precinct results from the Nov. 8, 2011 general election released by the King County Elections office shows that 71.6 percent of Sammamish voters were in favor of Initiative 1183, which allows private stores 10,000 square feet or larger to sell hard liquor.

In the City Council race between Kathy Richardson and Nancy Whitten, Richardson drew a lot of support from lakefront property owners. Map by Dona Mokin

That’s significantly more support than the initiative got statewide, where 58.7 percent of voters were in favor.

And though Sammamish is likely home to a large amount of commuters on state Route 520, its voters were even less likely than those statewide to be in favor of eliminating variable tolling on the bridge.

A bit more than 57 percent of voters checked “No” on Initiative 1125, compared to just over 53 percent around the state. The initiative would have also put state legislators in charge of setting tolling rates and unraveled plans to put light rail on the Interstate 90 Bridge.

Support for Initiative 1163, which would have increased training and licensing requirements for long-term care workers, lagged a bit in Sammamish – 58.4 percent of plateau voters supported the measure, compared to 65 percent of statewide voters.

Opponents questioned the wisdom of adding millions in costs to an already cash-strapped state budget.

City council races

The precinct numbers also cast some light on Sammamish’s city council races.

Kathy Richardson, a Lake Sammamish shoreline property owner, predictably garnered solid support from her shoreline neighbors in her candidacy against the incumbent Nancy Whitten, who has pushed for more stringent shoreline development regulations in her time on the council.

Richardson won all six of the precincts that border the shores of Lake Sammamish, as well as several other precincts scattered around the city.

Whitten said the results don’t surprise her. She theorized that some Lake Sammamish residents are still sore from her first campaign in 2004 when she advocated heavily for opening up the East Lake Sammamish Trail to the public, despite protests from nearby homeowners about the added pedestrian traffic near their homes.

Richardson also beat Whitten by three votes in Whitten’s own precinct, which covers the north end of Pine Lake. Whitten said some of her neighbors are less-than-keen on her advocacy for vegetated buffers around Pine and Beaver lakes, which makes lakefront recreation difficult.

Whitten did win the precincts around Beaver Lake by a healthy margin.

Ramiro Valderrama garnered solid support from around the city in his campaign against Jim Wasnick, winning all but three of the city’s 46 precincts. Wasnick won one Lake Sammamish precinct – between Southeast Eighth Street and Southeast 25th Street, as well as two precincts in the southeast corner of the city, roughly between Klahanie and Beaver Lake west of Duthie Hill Road.

Tom Vance, who cruised to victory with 67.6 percent of the vote over Jesse Bornfreund, won every precinct in the city.

Reporter Caleb Heeringa can be reached at 392-6434. ext. 247, or

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