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Originally published August 16, 2011 at 9:56 PM | Page modified August 17, 2011 at 7:00 PM

King County Council: Mitchell in slight lead in race to face Hague

Political newcomer Richard Mitchell was headed toward a November faceoff with longtime Metropolitan King County Councilmember Jane Hague, who drew less than 40 percent of the vote count Tuesday.

Seattle Times staff reporter

quotes Wow -- Jane Hague gets only 39% of the vote, and no one has commented on this? Four ye... Read more
quotes Underneath King County is a huge reservoir of natural gas, enough to power all of King ... Read more
quotes Hague's been in the crosshairs since she got drunk and tried to intimidate a Medina pol... Read more

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Political newcomer Richard Mitchell was headed toward a November faceoff with longtime Metropolitan King County Councilmember Jane Hague, who drew less than 40 percent of the vote count Tuesday.

In the other contested council election, Councilmember Joe McDermott trounced Diana Toledo and a third candidate in a district that includes West Seattle and cities to the south.

District 6

Mitchell, former general counsel to Gov. Chris Gregoire, held a lead of nearly 3 percent over Seattle Port Commissioner John Creighton, a fellow Democrat, in the officially nonpartisan election.

The initial vote count "tells me that the voters are looking for change," Mitchell said. " ... Of those who voted in the primary, there are a good 60 percent who didn't vote for the incumbent. That's a pretty clear message."

But Hague, who led Mitchell 39 percent to 28 percent in the Eastside district, said she was "thrilled with my lead," which she called a "huge difference" in the numbers.

Her message to voters, Hague said, will be "that I have a proven record of results, that I am in touch with my district," and that she wants to continue working to "make government responsible and accountable."

Hague, a moderate Republican, faced her toughest primary since she was first elected to the County Council in 1993, with three challengers saying she failed to make sure basic services were adequately funded.

She said during the campaign that the county is on its way to stabilizing its finances after several years of budget cuts.

Hague was criticized for initially saying she wouldn't impose — without a vote of the people — a $20 car-tab fee to support cash-strapped Metro Transit.

She voted for the fee Monday after winning concessions.

Mitchell blasted Creighton during the primary over a protective order sought by a former girlfriend, suggesting that he won't hesitate to make an issue of Hague's 2007 arrest for drunken driving, reduced to reckless driving, and other character issues.

A fourth candidate, former Bellevue City Councilmember Patsy Bonincontri, raised little campaign money and trailed far behind the other candidates, with 7 percent.

District 8

McDermott will face Toledo, a former county employee, in a rematch of their 2010 contest to complete the unexpired term of Dow Constantine, who left his seat to become county executive. McDermott led Toledo Tuesday with 67 percent to her 27 percent.

Perennial candidate Goodspaceguy, was eliminated in the primary.

Also on November ballot

Two longtime council members, Larry Gossett and Larry Phillips, both of Seattle, are running unopposed and will be on the November ballot.

Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or kervin@seattletimes.com

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