The Eastside of King County continues to turn blue.
Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci has emerged victorious over longtime incumbent Republican County Councilmember Jane Hauge in the 6th District (Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and environs), capturing nearly sixty percent of the vote in early returns — a stunning, lopsided result that few saw coming.
Balducci has made it a point to remind voters that she is a Democratic, progressive candidate, while her opponent is an entrenched Republican incumbent.
Hague has been a fundraising machine, but her defeat tonight just goes to show having a giant war chest is not a guarantor of victory. (Hague significantly outraised Balducci; she was a fundraising machine.)
Hague has been criticized by Balducci and others about her missed votes on the Council, leading to the impression that she’s phoning it in and only seems to want the job at election time. Well, she won’t have it anymore, come January.
This is a very satisfying victory for the King County Democrats, who have long wanted to replace Hague and elect a Democrat from the east side of Lake Washington. The Washington State Democrats are also very happy.
“When we chose Claudia Balducci as our ‘Elected Official of the Year’ this year, we knew she was a rising star in our party,” said Jaxon Ravens, Chair of the Washington State Democrats “Congratulations Claudia on a resounding victory over a well-funded entrenched Republican opponent. As a member of the King County Council, Claudia Balducci will continue to be a strong, effective leader for the Eastside and a champion for our progressive values.”