No primary for school board

Shoreline and Lake Forest Park residents won’t have a primary election for school board this year.

That’s because one of the two challengers to Shoreline School Board President Debi Ehrlichman has dropped out.

Wendy DiPeso, who was one of two challengers to file for Ehrlichman’s board position, withdrew after finding that she agreed substantially with the other candidate, Corey Murata.

That leaves Murata as Ehrlichman’s only opponent, meaning that there will be no primary and that the two will meet in the November election.

Both DiPeso and Murata say they want more open decision-making on the board.

Both filed against Ehrlichman because both live in the district she represents.

David Wilson, the other board member whose term expires this year, will run unopposed in November.

First non-partisan County Council election draws few candidates

When King County voters approved a charter amendment last year that made county offices non-partisan, one of the reasons was to make County Council elections more competitive. That’s because some districts, like this area’s 1st District, vote overwhelmingly for Democrats and some in the opposite corner of the county are overwhelmingly Republican.

We were supposed to see fewer candidates running unopposed, but this year it’s not happening. Almost all council incumbents, including 1st District Councilman Bob Ferguson, are running unopposed. Only one of the five seats on the November ballot will have an August primary.

That lack of a primary is one of the gains from the new system. State law requires a primary in a non-partisan election only if three or more candidates file for the position. The law requires a primary for partisan elections in all cases. For example, two Snohomish County Council positions will appear on the primary ballot even though each has only two candidates, one Republican and one Democrat.

Meanwhile, the election for King County executive has drawn eight candidates.

The new system is an experiment; county elections in Washington have always been partisan in both charter and non-charter counties.

Kagi ‘disappointed’ by Gregoire’s education veto

State Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Lake Forest Park, says that she is disappointed by Gov. Christine Gregoire’s veto of a section of the education reform bill that included early childhood education for at-risk students as part of basic education.

Kagi, chairwoman of the House early learning committee, said three weeks ago that next year she would hold Gregoire to her promise to support early childhood education for all students.

Evan Smith can be reached at

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