Sammamish redder than King County
December 13, 2012
New: Dec. 13, 11:15 a.m.
While often supporting Democrats, Sammamish once again leaned more Republican than the rest of King County during the November election, in many cases proving redder than the rest of King County and Washington State.
Despite a thorough drubbing in King County and a loss statewide, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna garnered solid support in Sammamish, taking 55 percent of the votes. That’s a marked difference from the rest of the county, which went for Jay Inslee by a 62.2 to 37.6 margin. Inslee won statewide, taking 51.5 percent of the vote.
But Sammamish voters were not quite so supportive of the Republican presidential candidate. President Barack Obama garnered 55.6 percent of the Sammamish vote to Mitt Romney’s 42.4 percent – only slightly less than the vote split statewide, where Obama got 56.2 percent of the vote to Romney’s 41.3 percent.
Sammamish voters were also slightly less likely than the rest of the state to vote for third parties. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson got 1.1 percent of the Sammamish vote compared to 1.3 percent statewide, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein got 70 votes in Sammamish – .3 percent of the city’s electorate compared to .7 percent statewide.
Sen. Maria Cantwell did well in Sammamish, getting 58.8 percent of the vote over Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner, compared to 60.4 percent statewide.
Sammamish’s rightward lean is shown clearly in the races for state legislature.
Though 41st District Democratic Rep. Marcie Maxwell was easily reelected with 58.5 percent of the vote district-wide, she barely eked out a victory among Sammamish voters – only 17 votes separated Maxwell and her Republican challenger Tim Eaves. Maxwell is a Renton resident, while Eaves resides in Issaquah.
In the 41st District Senate race, Republican Sen. Steve Litzow got heavy support, getting 58 percent of the vote compared to 54 percent district-wide.
Though Sammamish voters supported both incumbent Democrats in the 45th District House races, the margins were not quite as commanding as in the rest of the district. Rep. Roger Goodman garnered 54.5 percent of the Sammamish vote, compared to 56.4 district-wide. Rep. Larry Springer got the support of 55.2 percent of Sammamish voters, compared to 57.7 percent district-wide.
King County Sheriff John Urquhart’s support in Sammamish outpaced that of voters around the county – 59.8 percent of Sammamish voters compared to 56.1 in the rest of the county.
Initiative 1240, which will allow charter schools in the state, got solid support from the suburban voters in Sammamish – 54.8 percent voted in favor. The measure actually failed among King County voters as a whole, with only 48.4 percent voting in favor, though the measure won a narrow victory statewide – 50.7 to 49.3.
Sammamish voters gave a resounding “yes” to the two-thirds majority vote for raising taxes. Initiative 1185 got 64.8 percent of the vote in Sammamish, compared to 54.3 in King County and 63.9 percent statewide.
And despite the rightward lean in political candidates, Sammamish voters proved to be “live and let live” on social issues, supporting both gay marriage and legalized marijuana by solid margins. Referendum 74, allowing gay marriage, was approved by 62.6 percent of voters compared to 67 percent in the county and 53.7 percent statewide.
Initiative 502, which legalized marijuana for adults, passed in Sammamish but not by the same margins as the rest of the state. The measure got the support of 54.9 percent of Sammamish voters, compared to 63.5 percent of King County voters and 55.7 percent statewide.
Who wants a pool?
There seemed to be a bit of an east/west split in Sammamish as far as support for the YMCA-run community and aquatic center goes, according to an analysis of precinct-level election results.
The proposed $30 million, 60,000 square foot facility behind the library passed by a 53.65 percent to 46.35 percent margin citywide. City staff is currently hammering out the details of the facility’s operating agreement, which is scheduled to come to the City Council for approval early next year. Construction could begin sometime in 2014.
Breaking the results down by precinct shows that 14 of the 47 precincts in Sammamish voted against the proposal. All but two of those precincts in opposition were west of 228th Avenue and Sahalee Way. Much of the northwest corner of the city, near Redmond, voted against the proposal, as did many of the neighborhoods on the hillsides above Lake Sammamish. The precinct that contains the proposed facility – between Southeast Eighth Street and Southeast 20th Street and 212th Avenue and 228th Avenue – also voted “no.”
Proximity to a lake seemed to have little to do with whether or not voters were interested in the facility, which will include a family-friendly leisure pool with a waterslide and lazy river as well as a six-lane lap pool. The neighborhoods around Pine and Beaver lakes both voted for the measure, while all but two of the precincts along the shores of Lake Sammamish voted against it.
Reporter Caleb Heeringa can be reached at 392-6434. ext. 247, or firstname.lastname@example.org.