Sixteen candidates file for Kent City Council, School Board seats | Election 2019

Four positions up on council; 3 on school board

The race is on in Kent for four City Council seats and one School Board position.

Incumbent Les Thomas, in his 16th year on council, will clash with Hira Singh Bhullar and Sara Franklin to keep his seat for a fifth term as King County Elections closed the five-day candidate filing period Friday. Bhullar lost a 2015 council race against Tina Budell.

Awale A. Farah, Barry Fudenski, Zandria Michaud and Ronald Johnson filed for the one open council seat to be vacated by Dennis Higgins, who decided against running. Johnson lost a August 2017 primary race for the position won by Toni Troutner.

Challengers to council incumbent Marli Larimer include Todd Minor and Elizabeth T. Peang. The council appointed Larimer last year to replace Budell, who resigned after she took a job in Chicago. Peang ran for the council in 2017 but failed to advance out of the primary for a seat won by Satwinder Kaur.

Incumbent Bill Boyce, in his eighth year on council, will be challenged by Mizan Rahman.

Bhullar, Franklin, Michaud and Rahman were among the eight finalists to replace Budell last year before the council picked Larimer.

Any race with more than two candidates will be on the Aug. 6 primary ballot. The two with the most votes will advance to the Nov. 5 general election. Any race with fewer than three candidates goes directly to the November ballot.

Candidates have started their fundraising. So far with the early reports, Bhullar has raised $29,351, Farah $10,226, Rahman $6,226, Larimer $2,715 and Franklin $755, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission. The other candidates have not yet declared funds raised.

School Board candidates

Just one of the three positions up on the Kent School Board will be contested. None of the incumbents filed to keep their seats on the five-member board.

Michele Bettinger, of Renton, and David Canterbury, of Renton, filed for the District 2 position held by Karen DeBruler since 2010. Leslie Hamada, of Covington, is the only candidate seeking the District 3 seat held by Debbie Straus since 2007. Leah Bowen, of Kent, is the only one who filed for the District 1 position, held by Ross Hardy, who was appointed to the seat in 2017.

The Kent School District stretches into Covington and Renton.

Candidates 2019

Kent City Council

• Council Position 1

Marli Larimer

Todd Minor

Elizabeth T. Peang

• Council Position 3

Hira Singh Bhullar

Sara Franklin

Les Thomas

• Council Position 5

Bill Boyce

Mizan Rahman

• Council Position 7

Awale A. Farah

Barry Fudenski

Zandria Michaud

Ron Johnson

Kent School Board

• Director District 1

Leah Bowen (of Kent)

• Director District 2

Michele Bettinger

David Canterbury

• Director District 3

Leslie Kae Hamada

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