Dunn, Dembowski, Upthegrove leading in King County Council races; Constantine headed for second term

Wed, Nov 6, 2013

Incumbent Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn was holding a strong lead over Bellevue realtor Shari Song in his bid for a third term Tuesday night.

Dunn, representing District 9, a rural district in Southeast King County, was the council’s most vulnerable incumbent this year. In initial returns, he received 58 percent of the vote over Song’s 42 percent.

County Executive Dow Constantine was coasting to another term with 78 percent of the vote in initial returns. His opponent, Tea Party candidate Alan Lobdell, raised little money and had few specific criticisms of Constantine.

In District 1 in North King County, attorney Rod Dembowski was beating public-health researcher Naomi Wilson, 74 percent to 25 percent. Dembowski was appointed earlier this year to an open seat on the council.

For the District 5 seat vacated by retiring Councilmember Julia Patterson, state Rep. Dave Upthegrove held a 69 percent to 31 percent lead over Andy Massagli. District 5 includes cities and unincorporated areas in Southwest King County.

In the District 9 race, Song was a first-time political candidate, and local Democratic groups saw her candidacy as an opportunity to get another Democrat on the council. She raised more than $250,000 to challenge Dunn.

On Tuesday night she said she wasn’t ready to concede, and called it a “tremendous achievement” for a Democrat in conservative District 9 to have raised so much money and attracted so many volunteers.

Song campaigned on liberal ideas, such as finding new taxes for roads and transit and considering a law requiring paid sick leave countywide.

She also criticized Dunn for missing votes because he sometimes leaves meetings early.

Dunn pushed back, saying he attends more meetings than most other council members and that if he leaves early, it is because his district is far away.

He called Song a “good, strong, challenger” but said he thinks “the voters were happy with the job I’m doing, and saw through some of the distortions in the campaign.”

Dunn is a moderate, and has voted for half the tax proposals that have come before him as a council member.

Constantine’s four years in office have not been controversial, as he worked mostly internally to make county processes more efficient.

Two other council candidates were unopposed on the ballot: Pete von Reichbauer and Kathy Lambert.

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