Heavey Holds Slim Lead Over Fitzgibbon As They Prepare For Nov. Face-Off

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by Ralph Nichols

Just 21 votes separate 34th Legislative District candidates Mike Heavey and Joe Fitzgibbon after a second day of counting ballots cast in the Aug. 17 primary election.

Fitzgibbon gained more than a hundred votes in the updated totals released by King County Elections on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 18) to virtually erase Heavey’s slim election-night lead.

But whoever emerges as winner in this neck-in-neck race will walk away with little more than bragging rights. As the clear front runners, Heavy and Fitzgibbon, both Democrats, will advance beyond the top-two primary and face each other in the Nov. 2 general election.

Ballots cast by 27.49 percent of voters in the 34th Legislative District have been counted. Unreported is how many of its 75,415 registered voters mailed in ballots.

Heavey now has 33.43 percent of the vote, with Fitzgibbon at 33.32 percent. Independent Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy is at 18.47 percent, and Democrat Marcee Stone has 14.27 percent.

The two finalists seek to replace Sharon Nelson as state representative from Position 2. Nelson is unopposed in her move to the Senate, where she will replace former Sen. Joe McDermott. He easily won his contest for the King County Council and will face Diana Toledo in November.

Reached Wednesday morning (Aug. 18) by The B-Town Blog, Heavey reflected on his campaign that now has seven more weeks to go, noting, “I’ve been working since six months ago. There’s no rest for the weary.

“I’m very positive and I’m really humbled by all the support I got. It wasn’t a fluke. I did a lot of hard work from door belling to phone banking to visibility. It paid off.”

Fitzgibbon said “it’s just really gratifying to see all the hard work that we put in during the last five months paid off, and that our message has resonated with the voters of the district. I wouldn’t be surprised if I moved into the lead in the next day or so.”

Fitzgibbon has been a legislative assistant to Rep. Nelson, and also a King County Council legislative aide. He is chairman of the Burien Planning Commission, and was a member of the Burien Shoreline Advisory Committee.

Heavey is director of Outreach and Constituent Relations for the King County Council, focusing on public safety, crime and youth violence. Previously he worked at Expedia.com in fraud and identity theft prevention.

Despite their apparent similar positions on major issues that will confront the next Legislature, both say voters will have a clear choice.

Joe Fitzgibbon on election night. Photo by Mark Neuman.

“I think things look very good. People have known the Heavey name for years, and I have only gotten my name out in the last few months. If we keep doing what we’re doing, I’ll be in a strong position.

“Mike’s a good guy and has been working hard, but one of the big differences is that I have a track record of service to our communities. I’ve demonstrated a stronger grasp of the issues, a better grasp of what’s going on in state government for our communities.

“On most big issues, Mike and I have had similar positions. We differ on a matter of style. I hope that will come out in the fall campaign.”


Mike Heavey. Photo courtesy his website.

“I think the voters will have a clear choice come November. It will be my job to articulate those differences and it will be up to the voters to decide who they want to represent them in Olympia.

“On paper and in personality, there are some striking differences between us. I’m confident that at the end of the day, the voters will make that decision.

“The biggest issue is the state budget. The question is, do the residents of the 34th District want someone acting in the Legislature on behalf of all the citizens of the state, or acting for only a select few?”

Neither McElroy nor the Stone campaign returned calls from The B-Town Blog for comment.

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