McDermott, Toledo Anticipate Face-Off for King County Council In Nov. Election

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by Ralph Nichols

After a second day of counting ballots cast in the Aug. 17 primary election, Joe McDermott maintains a lopsided lead in the King County Council race from District 8.

McDermott has almost 60 percent of the votes counted in the district with the release of updated totals by King County Elections on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 18).

Diana Toledo at The B-Town Blog's Candidates Forum July 20th. Photo by Michael Brunk.

Diana Toledo appears headed for a second-place finish with 19.69 percent of the vote. The top two finishers qualify for the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

Normandy Park City Councilman and former mayor Shawn McEvoy is third with 13.14 percent of the vote. Tim Fahey, a South Park carpenter who based his campaign on getting a new bridge there, has 6.89 percent.

The totals for McDermott and McEvoy increased slightly, while those for Toledo and Fahey slipped a little – but all changes were well under 1 percent.

Ballots cast by 26.62 percent of voters in the district have been counted. Unreported is how many of its 109,557 registered voters mailed in ballots:

Ballots Cast/Registered Voters: * 28,466 / 109,557 25.98%
County Council District No. 8 Unexpired 1-year Term
Diana Toledo 4,879 19.63%
Tim Fahey 1,711 6.89%
Joe McDermott 14,859 59.79%
Shawn McEvoy 3,265 13.14%
Write-in 136 0.55%

“I’m surprised with how high [his vote total] was,” McDermott told The B-Town Blog. “I thought I would place first, but had no idea it would be with numbers as high as I received last night. I’m very pleased.”

Toledo said she is “very excited and looking forward to working very hard over the next few months to close the gap [with McDermott] and to win in November. I’m encouraged by my numbers given the fact that I came into the race so late.”

If Toledo holds her primary position, which now appears likely, the election for this seat will take on a pivotal dimension for the King County Council despite the fact that she is a long shot.

McDermott, who has served 10 years in the Legislature, seven in the House and the last three in the Senate, will continue to run on his record as a liberal Democrat from West Seattle, which he points to with pride.

“I think voters will continue to have a strong choice and I look forward to continuing to knock on as many doors as I can and talk to as many voters as I can about transit and transport, environmental protection, human services and public safety, as I have thus far in the campaign,” he added.”

A political newcomer from West Seattle, Toledo, who worked for King County for 15 years, campaigned on conservative themes – government reform, reduce spending and taxes, cut waste, and public safety as the top priority.

She planned to hit the ground running the day after the primary to increase her visibility and “tell voters who I am and point out the differences between Joe and me. I have a lot of people supporting me and I believe that that number is going to grow.”

They are running to fill the council position vacated by Dow Constantine when he was elected county executive last year. The winner will serve one year, then must run for election to a full four-year term in 2011.

Both highlighted their opposing positions in interviews with The B-Town Blog.

Joe McDermott at our July 20th Candidates Forum. Photo by Michael Brunk.


“I’ve had the opportunity over the last 10 years to demonstrate my priorities and my values in my service in the Legislature. They have meshed well with the district I represented and they mesh well with the larger 8th County District. It is those priorities and those values that I took to the voters, asking them to support me in yesterday’s primary.

“Certainly the council positions are now non-partisan and I have a track record of working with a variety of people in Olympia and I look forward to continuing to do that if elected to the county council. At the same time, I think the voters have a right to know what my values and priorities are and a party label is an initial indicator of that to the public.”


“Shawn McEvoy ran a great race. I’m very honored that I have been able to make it through to the general election. I’m grateful for the support from all the people who believe in the issues that are part of my campaign – who want change in King County government, who want reform in King County government.

“We can’t afford politics as usual. We can’t sustain unsustainable budgets. King County cannot afford to continue the excesses of career politicians and career appointees whose policies have devastated our communities, a projected budget deficit of $60 million next year, with talk of sales and property taxes and the slashing of law enforcement positions. We have to protect our senior citizens who are being taxed out of their homes.”

Illustration by Michael Owsley.

Can Toledo win despite McDermott’s lead? “I have to. We’ve got too much to lose.”

But McEvoy isn’t ready to concede the race. “It’s going to be one of those multi-day adventures,” he said about the continuing vote count. Elections will continue to update results at 4:30 p.m. every weekday through Aug. 31.

“I’d rather be in second place, but I’m not that concerned. I’m looking forward the late vote during the rest of the week. That’s where I’ll swing back.”

He added, “My goal always was to be in second place in the primary. The race is still on. It’s the first turn of the horse race.”

Fahey expressed hope that the second posting of votes would improve his fortunes. With that apparently not in the cards, “Diana has my complete and absolute endorsement. I agree with her platform, she’s bright, and I’ll be delighted to have her as my councilman. I don’t think there is any way I can come close at this point, and I will campaign for her.”

He added, “I’m happy. We didn’t make it but I’m happy. I did something I never thought that I’d do … I will continue to work to see that a new bridge is built and that things like this don’t happen again. This is a silly way to run a government.”

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2 Responses to “McDermott, Toledo Anticipate Face-Off for King County Council In Nov. Election”
  1. Coverofnight says:

    “McDermott, …will continue to run on his record as a liberal Democrat from West Seattle, which he points to with pride.”

    Remember, this man has never met a tax he didn’t like. He has stated in his mailings that he favors a state income tax! In this economy, he wants to increase government and we, the taxpayers, will have to pay those increased costs.

    Now look at Ms. Toledo’s campaign themes: “…government reform, reduce spending and taxes, cut waste, and public safety as the top priority.” This is an individual who wants to truly serve the public, will look out for our best interest and get the most “bang for our buck” with taxes.

    How did McDermott get so many votes? Are the taxpayers REALLY gluttons for punishment to their wallets? Be careful what you wish for – electing him will cost you more from your household budget; guaranteed!

    Diana rocks! Let’s elect her caring voice to the King County Council and not the deaf ears of McDermott.

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  2. Ian Gunsul says:

    If anyone is paying attention, Toledo, Fahey and “Write In” trended downward after today’s totals while McEvoy and McDermott went up. Over 10,000 ballots were received for District 8 in today’s mail, which with the other uncounted ballots on hand means the race for the number two spot is basically still undecided.
    I would wait a couple more days before making any projections for the second spot on November’s ballot.

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