LETTER: Voters Choose McDermott Over Toledo, But Reject His Platform
Voters in the King County Council District 8 elected former State Senator Joe McDermott to the Council; while at the same time voting to reverse legislation passed by McDermott during his time as a State Senator.
McDermott defeated 15 year front-line King County employee Diana Toledo in the race for King County Council by winning 68% of the vote as opposed to Toledo’s 32%. But at the same time, voters said NO to Joe’s platform and previous legislation.
- I-1107 Voters said YES, but McDermott Said NO. (Reversed the tax on candy, bottled water, and other foods)
- I-1053 Voters said YES, but McDermott Said NO. (Legislature now needs a 2/3 majority vote to pass new taxes)
- Prop 1 Voters said NO, but McDermott said YES. (Would have imposed a new 2% sales tax)
- I-1098 Voters said NO, but McDermott said YES. (Would have established a state income-tax)
The results puzzled many in the District 8 community; why voters would elect an official who seems to put forth legislation that the majority of voters are opposed to? And why overlook a candidate like Toledo with a proven track record, who clearly wanted to give a voice to their values?
Supporters of Diana Toledo did find some solace in knowing that McDermott will only hold the seat for one year; he’ll be finishing a partial term due to Dow Constantine vacating the position early when he became King County Executive. This means that the seat is again up for election in November 2011.
Diana Toledo had this to say about running again next year; “Although we did not receive enough votes to take a seat on the King County Council we still have a lot to be grateful for; I’ve made a lot of friends over the past few months, and have seen many people who hadn’t previously paid much attention to politics take an active role in getting involved with what their government is doing. Today my opponent received more votes; placing him in the Position 8 seat; however, at the same time the voters reversed his previous legislation by passing I-1107 and I-1053, which shows that residents don’t like the decisions he’s made in the past.”
Although many are confused by the results, there are some things to consider; Joe McDermott received over $115,000.00 in campaign contributions from Pro-abortion groups, Gay rights advocates, Unions, and other groups. This money went into mailers and heavy advertising playing on the name recognition of the popular Congressman Jim McDermott (although Joe is no relation). Many political experts credit the barrage of mailers as the reason McDermott was able to win the election.
Diana Toledo’s campaign raised about $15,000.00 ($100,000 less than McDermott), primarily from small donations, family and friends, animal welfare advocates, taxi-cab drivers, and small business owners. Given that McDermott outspent Toledo by 7-1 it is surprising that Diana Toledo was still able to garner a respectable 32% of the vote; 1/3 of the overall total. A remarkable feat considering Diana is not a career politician, this is her first run for office, and that she received no major party backing.
The strong showing by previously unknown political candidate Diana Toledo can be attributed to Diana’s well-regarded reputation among King County front line staff, Diana’s 15 year experience and knowledge in King County policy & regulations, and Diana’s dominate performance in each of the Toledo/McDermott Forums and Debates. But ask Diana what she thinks and Diana will credit her family, life-long friends, and solid community support as the reason that her showing was as strong as it was. She is confident that by continuing to share her ideas for strengthening the economy, job creation, eliminating wasteful and reckless spending, and bringing responsible reform to King County government; that she can bring over the necessary votes to win the District 8 seat in 2011.
Candidate filing for the next race is just over 7 months from now; and you can be sure that Diana Toledo supporters will be keeping a close eye on Joe McDermott’s performance on King County Council between now and then, and holding his feet to the fire.
It’s been an exciting race over the last 5 months; let’s all take a break and do it again next year.
– David Toledo
Friends of Diana Toledo