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Incumbents retain Council positions

  • Written by Bob Kirkpatrick

In a race for City Council that turned out closer than most anticipated Al Taylor, Position 6 (50.27) and Gary Harris, Position 7 (50.47), edged out challengers Nicolas Duchastel (49.58) and Paul Hagen (49.35) by the slimmest of margins.

“As a first-time candidate running against an incumbent who was heavily supported by the establishment, I knew from the beginning that it would be a hard race and that to be competitive we would need to see a better-than-usual voter turnout. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite make that goal, and I came up 37 votes short,” Hagen said. “I am so proud, however, of the positive, issues-focused campaign we ran, and I am so grateful to the people of Woodinville who supported me along the way.

“I wish Deputy Mayor Harris all the best as he takes on the tasks ahead. He and I will undoubtedly disagree on some issues, but I’m rooting for him and the entire council as they serve Woodinville. I urge the Council members to work together to ensure that our City Council is accessible, responsive, accountable and effective. The people of Woodinville deserve nothing less.” 

Duchastel felt he ran a good campaign and at one point in time held a slim lead over Taylor.

“It (the lead) surprised me—unfortunately, it was short-lived Duchastel said. “But I was proud of the positive campaign I ran—I knocked on 2,000 and got to talk with about 900 people.

“I was disappointed with the outcome, but that’s democracy and I’ll abide by the verdict.”

Although Taylor finished with just 23 votes more than Duchastel and Harris with 37 more than Hagen, there will be no recount.

Per King County election officials, a mandatory machine recount in all races and statewide measures requires a gap of fewer than 2,000 votes and also fewer than 1/2 of 1% of the total number of votes cast for both candidates.

A mandatory hand recount must be less than 1,000 votes and also fewer than 1/4 of 1% of the total number of votes cast for both candidates.

Efforts to generate a response from Taylor and Harris have gone unanswered.

In other races

Challenger Doug Halbert (50.97) upset incumbent James C. Dorney (48.81) in the race for Woodinville Fire & Rescue Commissioner Position 2.

“I appreciate the voters that turned out and voted for me and the support received from the firefighters,” Halbert said. “I want you to know I will represent you to the best of my ability.

“I have been a firefighter since 1988. I plan on using my experience and education in the Fire Service to help Woodinville be the best department possible. I would like to see the department focus on education and training. Knowing what to do and how to react to every situation is paramount in the fire service. You cannot be too prepared.” 

Incumbent Dale Knapinski (50.59) held off challenger Ty Graham (49.11) and will serve another term as Woodinville Water District Commissioner Position 2.

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