This Nov. 5 general election may not be where you decide the President of the United States, but the results will directly touch every Renton resident for years to come, with a new mayor, council and school board candidates and a school district bond to fund a new Highlands-area elementary school at stake. The state measures will be sure to impact the city as well. Also, most of the local races and measures will be on the back of a ballot, due to numerous states advisory votes. Here’s what to expect on your ballot:
Renton City Mayor:
After serving as Renton’s mayor for 12 years Denis Law is retiring. The two candidates vying for his spot are city councilmember and Melrose Grill owner Armondo Pavone and former state representative and local real estate business owner Marcie Maxwell. Both beat out two other candidates in the primary, but were only a handful of votes apart, hinting at a possible close election this November.
Renton City Council Pos. 3:
After a councilmember decided not to run for reelection earlier this year, a spot opened up for new candidates. Valerie O’Halloran, who was initially running for Pos. 7, switched to this spot. O’Halloran is a finance analyst and Renton resident. Also running for this seat is James Alberson. Alberson is Renton Chamber of Commerce board chair and business owner.
Renton City Council Pos. 4:
Ryan McIrvin is the only incumbent council candidate running with an opponent. McIrvin has been on council for one term, and has worked on the Regional Affordable Housing Task Force and Regional Transportation Committee. His opponent Maria Spasikova is a finance manager and business owner and in her candidate bio says she brings a diverse perspective from living all over the world.
Renton City Council Pos. 5:
Councilmember Ed Prince is running for reelection unopposed. He has been on council for eight years.
Renton City Council Pos. 7:
After serving 17 years on council and 33 years in the Renton Police Department, Don Persson is retiring. Running for his seat are Kim-Khanh Van and Thomas Trautmann. Van is an attorney and member of Renton’s Inclusion Task Force. Trautmann is a city of Issaquah employee.
Note: The above candidates, except for Trautmann, discussed important issues in Renton at the candidate forum on Oct. 1, which is available to watch @RentonReporter on Facebook.
Renton School Board Director, District 1:
Alisa Louie, incumbent, is running for reelection against Joe Todd. Louie has been a director for one term and a teacher. Todd is a Tukwila city department head and Chief Information Officer.
Renton School Board Director, District 3:
After 18 years as a board director, Lynn Desmarais is not seeking reelection. Stefanie McIrvin and Kristen Deskin emerged from the primary to run for her seat in the general election. McIrvin is a Director of Applied Baccalaureate Programs at Renton Technical College. Deskin is an early learning program manager.
Renton School Board Director, District 4:
Incumbent Gloria Hodge is running for reelection against Suzette Espinoza-Cruz. Hodge is on her first term, as well as director of Hoa Mai Vietnamese Bilingual Preschool and Dragon’s Den. Espinoza-Cruz is a city of Seattle early learning & school age education specialist.
A question and answer with school board candidates prior to the August primary is available here.
Regional positions on Renton ballots
Director of Elections
Court of Appeals
Pos. 1: John Chun
Pos. 2: Lori Smith
Port of Seattle Commissioner:
Renton School District:
After missing the number of voters needed to validate in February, this bond measure is being brought to the November ballot. The $249.6 million bond measure, if passed, will fund construction at almost every district building, and fund a new elementary school in the Highlands area. The district estimates property tax rates will remain the same if the measure is passed as assessed property values increase.
This replacement of an expiring county levy funds Medic One emergency medical services (EMS) throughout King County, and costs $26.50 per every $100,000 of assessed property value. Emergency medical services include basic life support by city, fire district and regional fire authority emergency medical technicians, advanced life support by University of Washington/Harborview Medical Center trained paramedics and providing citizen and EMS personnel training, according to the text of the measure.
Referendum Measure No. 88
This is a vote for the measure the state legislature passed on Initiative 1000, that would re-implement affirmative action in Washington, which was removed in 1988. It would also create a Governor’s commission on diversity, equity and inclusion. Those in favor say the measure will restore rights that are consistent with 42 other states, create a level playing field and improve opportunities for veterans and people of all abilities. Those opposed say it would create division “by allowing the government to inject race into college admissions and government employment,” and lacks accountability with a commission that will not be elected.
Initiative Measure No. 976
This measure, pushed through by political activist Tim Eyman, would limit annual motor-vehicle-license fees, car tabs, to $30. Those in favor say it’s a flat, fair yearly fee. Those opposed say it would cut transportation funding by more than $4.2 billion over the next six years.