King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn hasn’t lost a single reelection campaign since voters put him in office in 2006, and based on initial Tuesday night ballot returns, he’s likely won another against challenger Kim-Khanh Van.
Dunn had 20,008 votes to Van’s 11,343 in that first drop of ballots, or 63.6% to Van’s 36.1%. The results are not final yet, and will be updated over the next few days as ballots continue to trickle in.
Countywide, only 311,424 ballots had been counted as of the first round of returns — a number representing 22.24% of registered voters. The percentage was slightly lower — 20.5% — in the race for the council’s District 9 seat, for which Dunn and Van are vying.
If around 50% of registered voters have sent in ballots this time — a rough estimate based on previous elections — Van would have to mount a shocking comeback to beat Dunn.
The 9th district is a cross-section of urban, suburban and rural voters, spanning from Enumclaw in the southwest all the way to the southern tip of Bellevue.
While council seats are nonpartisan, Dunn is a Republican, and Van is a Democrat.
Dunn’s consistent drumbeat messaging on police funding (increase it) and safe drug injection sites (“absolutely opposed” to them) might have contributed to his success with District 9 voters, who generally skew conservative compared to the rest of King County.
Van, meanwhile, voted to hire police as a Renton City Council member, but said some communities also need alternatives to just adding more cops. She said it should be up to individual communities to decide on the presence of injection sites.
Tuesday’s initial results tracked with the August primary returns, in which Dunn took first out of four candidates with 55.9% of the vote. Van took 21.8 percent at that time.
The other two challengers were Chris Franco, a program manager at the King County Office of Equity and Social Justice, and Ubax Gardheere, the Equitable Development Division Director in the City of Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development.
Both, running on policy platforms to the political left of Dunn and Van, were eliminated from the race in the primary.
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