Brenda Fincher, Satwinder Kaur and Toni Troutner each cruised to victory in the three Kent City Council races.
The incumbent Fincher received 73 percent of the vote to just 26 percent for challenger Russ Hanscom, according to King County Elections results posted on Friday. Kaur defeated Paul Addis 57-42 percent. Troutner beat Tye Whitfield 64-35 percent.
Troutner and Kaur will be newcomers to the council when they start their new part-time jobs in January. Troutner will replace Dennis Higgins, who decided not to seek re-election. Kaur will replace Jim Berrios, who lost in the mayoral race against Dana Ralph. The council term for Berrios expires the end of the year.
The three winners, who were elected to four-year terms, shared their thoughts with the Kent Reporter about the November general election as well as a look ahead to their work on the council.
What was your reaction to the results?
Fincher: I was very pleased! Getting re-elected with a lead that large doesn’t happen very often. It’s great validation.
Kaur: I am very pleased with the results. I am very grateful to Kent voters and looking forward to working for our residents.
Troutner: I was very pleased with the numbers. The results speak to the level of support I have in the community.
Why do you think you won?
Fincher: I was re-elected because people agree with my vision for Kent and support the work I’ve done as their council member. They’ve also seen that I stand by my word, even with tough decisions. I keep my door open for everyone, but I also don’t wait for people to show up at City Hall. Most people don’t have time for that. I’ve made a priority of getting to as many community meetings, forums, events, neighborhoods and businesses as possible to make sure I understand what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and how I can help. I love Kent and have worked to do what was best for our residents and businesses and I believe people saw that.
Kaur: We won because our voters noticed my commitment and passion for our city. I have been involved with many different organizations and non-profits in the city. We worked hard canvassing neighborhoods and talking to our neighbors. I am honored and grateful to receive so much support.
Troutner: I ran an honest campaign, highlighting my experience and the value I bring to Kent. I have been attending council workshops and meetings, and I am ready to hit the ground running.
What are going to be your primary goals on council at the first of the year?
Fincher: Approving another balanced budget that meets the needs of our city, keeping Kent a safe and affordable place to live and engaging all of our residents.
Kaur: Primary goals on the council are to look at our finances and make sure we are doing everything we can to be transparent to our residents. I will also work with the council president to host community forums/ meetings at various locations. An improved communication plan with our residents will also be on the agenda.
Troutner: I will work with my fellow council members to address the fiscal cliff and find sustainable funding for our parks program.
What is your response to Dana Ralph being the new mayor?
Fincher: I’m glad for her. She worked hard to get the job and she’ll work hard in the job. The better she does as our mayor, the better for Kent.
Kaur: I am excited to work with Dana as mayor. She cares about our city and will be a great representative for us regionally.
Troutner: I look forward to working with Dana and my fellow council members over the next four years.
Anything else you would like to add?
Fincher: I plan to contine working to make sure we’re engaging all of Kent and making sure we don’t leave anyone behind as we move forward. The more people and businesses we have involved in our city – living, working, engaging, connecting and growing – the better and stronger we become.
Kaur: I am honored to receive the support and votes of our residents. It is truly a privilege to work for over 126,000 residents of Kent and I am looking forward to representing them on the council. My door is always open. I want to hear their ideas and concerns so we can make decisions that work for all of us. Now, the hard work begins and I am ready to work hard for all of you.
Troutner: I look forward to serving on the city council. I would like to thank everyone who supported me throughout my campaign. I will continue to listen to the thoughts and concerns of the residents. Together, we will work to make Kent prosper.