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Seattle Mayor’s Race Down To Three Port Commissioner Tops Vote, Absentee Ballots To Determine His Opponent

The Seattle mayor’s race is down to Paul Schell and somebody from West Seattle.

Schell, a Port of Seattle commissioner, was the top vote-getter with 27 percent in Tuesday’s mayoral primary. But City Councilman Charlie Chong and Greg Nickels, a King County Council veteran, will have to wait for absentee ballots arriving in the mail this week to determine who won the second runoff spot for the Nov. 4 general election.

Ballots counted as of Wednesday had Chong, a West Seattle neighborhood activist and first-term council member, with 22 percent of the vote. Nickels, also a westside resident and the choice of retiring Mayor Norm Rice, had 21 percent, with about 150 votes separating them.

Eliminated in the nonpartisan race were City Council members Jane Noland and Cheryl Chow.

King County Executive Ron Sims, appointed to that post after Gary Locke was elected governor last year, easily defeated Kenn Yeager for the Democratic nomination and far outpolled Suzette Cooke, who was unopposed on the Republican ticket. Sims had 64 percent of the total vote while Cooke had 30 percent.

There were six legislative races on ballots in the Puget Sound area, the most visible of which was the 35th District Senate showdown between Sen. Lena Swanson and state Rep. Tim Sheldon in the Democratic primary.

Sheldon, a fiscal conservative abandoned by the state party, ousted Swanson, a liberal backed by the party, 51 percent to 32 percent.

In the general election, Sheldon will face Republican Dick Taylor, a retired U.S. Navy officer, and Charles Crawford, who is running on the Reform Party ticket. The district covers Mason and parts of Grays Harbor, Kitsap and Thurston counties.

Both parties also were watching returns in the 33rd District in King County, which includes Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Appointed Sen. Julia Patterson defeated challenger Joseph Coomer in the Democratic primary and will face Republican John Creighton, a former astronaut, in November.

Patterson got 58 percent of the total vote.

In Seattle’s liberal 37th District, Sen. Adam Kline easily beat two challengers in the Democratic primary and will face Republican Jim Hoggatt in November.

Elsewhere, 72 percent of voters in the suburban area of Kenmore, just north of Lake Washington, decided they want their community of about 17,000 residents to become Washington’s newest city.

Seattle voters renewed funding for programs that counsel troubled teens, help hold stressed families together and keep kids out of trouble. The seven-year, $69 million Families & Education Levy passed 64 percent to 36 percent.

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