ELECTION RESULTS 8: Bell pulling away from Green, now up by 165 votes

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The horse race for Burien City Council Position No. 6 appears to be going to Austin Bell, who – as of the latest results on Nov. 10 at 3:51 p.m. – is pulling away down the stretch against opponent Darla Green, and is now leading by 165 votes.

When the first results were released on election night (Tuesday, Nov. 3), Bell was ahead by just 2 votes.

Vote totals will be certified on Nov. 24.

With 8,680 ballots counted (34.87%), here are the latest returns:

City of Burien Council Position No. 6:

  • Austin Bell: 3933 • 50.91%
  • Darla Green: 3768 • 48.78%
  • Write-in: 24 • 0.31%

The other races were clear victories for incumbents Bob Edgar and Lucy Krakowiak:

City of Burien Council Position No. 2:

  • Bob Edgar: 4411 • 56.97%
  • Holli Giffin: 3307 • 42.72%
  • Write-in: 24 • 0.31%

City of Burien Council Position No. 4:

  • Lucy Krakowiak: 4674 • 60.54%
  • Jon Scherer: 3027 • 39.20%
  • Write-in: 20 0.26%

Also, Jon Scherer posted the following to his Facebook page:

Tonight I called Lucy Krakowiak and congratulated her on her victory. There are still lots of ballots to count, and two weeks before the election is certified, but I think it’s clear that the tide of votes is not moving in my direction. That said, I’m very proud of what I achieved. I think nearly 40% of the vote on the first night, for a brand new candidate, operating almost completely on his own is a pretty good result!

I want to thank all of the people that I’ve met along the way and who came out to help me… Banner, Ryan, Andrew, Meg, Vicky, Aaron, Michelle and so many others… Not only did you help get me as far as I did, but we’ve formed good friendships that will last beyond the politics of Burien. I also want to thank all the people who took the time to talk to me and look at my materials when I went door knocking. You’re why I ran in the first place, and though I haven’t won this race, I won’t let you down in the long run… I still have lots of fight left in me. I want to thank the unions that endorsed me and helped to support my campaign. I especially want to thank all of you I don’t know who voted for me. You took a chance on a brand new person and sent a message to our establishment that the status quo just won’t do anymore.

When I started this race I wanted to keep it simple… I wanted to do it all myself, I wanted to keep money out of it and just run on the issues that I found important. I didn’t know much about running a political campaign… I figured I’d buy some yard signs, print up some fliers, knock on some doors, and just try to get the word out at a grass roots level as much as possible. Almost immediately I got the attention of a lot of people who liked my progressive platform, felt good about my candidacy and wanted to help. Suddenly there was a lot of “you have to do this, and you have to do that, and do this thing at this time, and I’ll connect you to this person and don’t forget to do that thing and we’ll get you blah blah blah from this group”… and I got caught up in it. That’s the thing I regret the most. These people wanted to help me, and they did… but it wasn’t what I wanted for my campaign. By the time I realized I was on the wrong track it was a little late to turn around and get back to what I wanted, but I did my best to get back to the simple, straightforward and ethically sound campaign I wanted to run.

I chose mini reporting from the PDC for a variety of reasons that I’ve already explained, but mostly because it is for those campaigns that don’t intend to raise or spend more than $5,000. I felt if I got even close to that amount I would be embarrassed. In the end, I’m proud that I was able to run my entire campaign on less than $2,000. I have some surplus funds and according to PDC rules, I can donate that surplus to a charitable organization. Last week I donated those surplus funds to Burien C.A.R.E.S. as animal services are close to my heart.

There was a lot of talk about PAC’s in this race and their influence. While there seem to have been PAC’s working on my behalf, this is a phenomenon that I am not in favor of, and I think it’s one of the things that should be removed from our political process. The biggest problem is that very often PAC’s operate without the candidate’s knowledge or approval. That’s why you now see so many ads with the tag line, “I’m so-and-so and I approve this message”. It’s the only way you know that ad is directly from the candidate. You won’t have seen any such message from me on any mailers sent to you, as I did not send out any mailers for my campaign. I hate getting those things in the mail, so I pledged not to send any myself… I was scolded heavily for that. The only outreach you would have seen directly from me were my yard signs, the printed hand outs that I used when door knocking, and a small ad on the 34th District Democrat’s sample ballot… and of course my Facebook posts. Wade Pennington posted a picture of a particularly bad mailer that went out… I deeply regret that my name was on that. I would never have approved of such a thing. In the end, these “outside of town” PAC’s gave me no money directly and did not pay any of my bills as some have claimed. They took their own action on their own behalf, and though regrettable, it’s allowed under the law.

Another thing I pledged not to do was call people. I hate getting robo calls from campaigns and I did not want to do that myself. In the end though, the democrats offered to do a brief robo call campaign on my behalf and on the behalf of some of the other candidates… I knew about it, and I did not ask them to exclude me. I regret that… it was not something I truly wanted, but it was part of running my campaign in two different worlds.

I think one of the things I regret the most is the yard signs. I really liked my signs. They were designed well, and they really looked good standing tall in the yards of my supporters. When we started placing them I felt really good about what I was doing. When all the other signs started to go up though, they really looked bad. All 6 candidate’s signs bunched together along with some ballot measures … it ended up being just a bunch of visual pollution. If I do this again, I’ll have to think very carefully about how I will handle that.

So that brings us to what’s next? Will I do this again? Maybe. Will I run for Burien City Council or some other position… maybe. One of my goals going into this was to wake up my neighborhood and get it active politically. I think I’ve achieved that, or at least got it started. I also wanted to send a message to the council that the status quo is no longer acceptable. I think we did that as well. People know me a little better now, so maybe next time…

For now, I have things to catch up on and lots of new plans… I need to get back to training my dogs… one of which I am trying to train for search and rescue. I’m on the waiting list for King County Search Dogs… the list is long, and the requirements are hard, but if I’m successful Burien will have at least one qualified, local search team. I also want to get back to playing my accordion… I haven’t really touched it during the campaign, so I’ll be seeing Jamie for lessons soon! I’m helping out with the volunteers at B-Town Dog to build our new dog park, and I’m starting a similar, grass roots effort with some folks over in SeaTac to try and get an off leash area in North SeaTac Park. And of course, I still have some strong ideas on how we can improve security in our city, and I’ll be sharing those ideas with whomever will listen.

So, I’ll be around. I’m going to leave this page up, so contact me here if you have any questions, or ideas or things I should get behind. Or, just stop me when you see me around town… you know who I am now, and I’m here for you.

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13 Responses to “ELECTION RESULTS 8: Bell pulling away from Green, now up by 165 votes”
  1. Lee Moyer says:

    Can anyone explain what the numbers actually mean?

    On Nov 5 8339 votes were counted and it was called 33.5 %. If that is the percentage of cast votes that were counted that means we had about 24,890 votes cast. An unbelievable turnout for a city with a population of 50,000. I’d be surprised if we even have that many registered voters.

    Then on Nov 10, the count was 8680 (34.87%. This means that in 5 days (3 if they don’t work weekends) they only managed to count 341 more votes. I don’t believe that either.

    I can believe the totals and margins, but the rest makes no sense.

    What are you posting, Scott?

  2. Lee Moyer says:

    OOps, an additional thought. Maybe they have counted all the votes they have and the 341 in 5 days was just those that trickled in by mail. If this is so, the races are pretty much decided. The percentages may be of the total registered voters that cast votes.

  3. Charles Schaefer says:

    The threshold for a recount is under 2,000 votes and under .5% difference, according to RCW 29A.64.021(1). Under 150 votes (and under .25%) is the threshold for a MANUAL recount under subsection (b)(ii). http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=29A.64&full=true#29A.64.021 Either party can pay for a recount should the difference not meet the criteria for an automatic one.

    • ShellyC says:

      That’s for a statewide election. The formula for local races is on in the King County Elections website. Punch in your city and total number of votes and it tells you what the +/- is for a free recount.

      • Charles Schaefer says:

        Subsection (1) does not specify a difference and specifically includes the phrase “any primary or election” regarding the automatic recount.

        For the manual recount, subsection (b)(i) Starts with “For statewide elections,” and (b)(ii) starts with “For elections not included in (b)(i) of this subsection” i.e. NOT statewide elections.

    • Lee Moyer says:

      Recount percentages and numbers are based on the votes cast. That is fine but has nothing to do with my question.
      Is the percentage in the article the per cent of the registered voters whose votes were received? That means about half the population of Burien is registered.
      The 341 votes counted over 5 days implies that all the received votes have been counted and those were just what trickled in over those 5 days. If that is true, the races are pretty much decided since there must be very few ballots still in the mail. It would be nice to know for sure if this is true.

      • Charles Schaefer says:

        Burien’s population is just over 50,000, as you said. I believe you are correct that the 24,000 number is the number of registered voters and the 8,000 and change is the number of votes cast, hence a turnout of about 33%. I’m sure more votes trickle in through the mail in the last few days than those that have been counted. I have no clue why it takes them two weeks.

        • Jimmy says:

          Well it probably takes them two weeks to make sure that there are none lost in the mail and for ones that have been returned for issues to be fixed and sent back in. Then there’s military over sea’s and other voters register here but may live other places around the country. If you ever had to mail a letter across the country like from Burien to somewhere in Florida sometimes it can take a week or two.

          Also if Darla wants to do a recount the charge per machine recounted vote is $0.15 and manual recounted vote is $0.25. It could get a little expensive but if she wins she get’s the money back but it’s looks a little unlikely that she is going to win and for a single mother to waste a good some of money on a election when she going to have to pay for part of her sons collage in a few years and other family expenses. I wouldn’t see it as the best option for her and her family since she also has stated that she ran for city council after her application for some other position was lost. I think it would be best for her to take this one as a lost and re think her ideas figure out where she went wrong with her campaign and come back in a couple of years and try again.

        • Question Authority says:

          Taking out of the equation, juveniles, felons and slackers what percentage of Burien residents are actually and legally “undocumented” and therefore not participating in these, or any election?
          That number may have a great effect on the distinct difference in total votes tallied per “residents” of Burien.

  4. Tom Taaffe says:

    What a gracious and insightful letter Jon. Thank you. Tom

  5. Fran says:

    This is a strange letter that Jon Scherer wrote. He is quite the dramatist. First he explains how proud he is of all of the votes he got, by any means, but then he claims to lament how he got the votes. The truth is that anytime Jon wanted to call a halt to outside money spoiling what he thought should be the direction of his campaign, all he had to do was call Phillip Lloyd of the South King County Working Families PAC and tell Phillip to stop putting Jon’s name on the flyers. The same was true for the UFCW 21 PAC materials and the 34th Dems. Because Jon didn’t do that and stop what he thought was wrong, it speaks volumes about who he is.

    Also, Jon claimed during the campaign to be passionate about improving his neighborhood and Block Watches but notice that is not what his plans are for the future. He is going to play his accordion and train his dog which he should have done at least a year ago. Seeing the dog and Jon in the neighborhood, both of them do battle with each other and the leash daily. I don’t see this letter as insightful but as rather manipulative of public opinion, in case Jon might decide to run again.

    Jon is the kind of guy attorneys love because he tries to rationalize what he should or could have of done to be more honest but then some awful outside devil corrupted him and spoiled who he intended to be. It is stuff to make voters on a jury sympathetic and conflicted as to was responsible for the acts that occurred but shows phony remorse at the core of Jon’s tale. One wonders whether if Jon had won, would he have been so publicly repentant and whether he would have given up his council position for letting his campaign get out of hand and go the wrong direction? Jon was willing to be a puppet bought and sold by outside PACS.

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