It shouldn’t take a close race to remind us that every vote counts, but these days, we need every reminder we can get that participation in local, state, and federal elections really and truly does matter. And today, we got a plethora of such reminders, as elections officials in Washington State wrapped up a bevy of recounts in incredibly close contests for positions at the local level.
One of those contests, which our team at NPI has been tracking closely, is the Redmond City Council race between Varisha Khan and Hank Myers here in our hometown of Redmond. About a month ago, we reported here on the Cascadia Advocate that Khan had overcome a ten point deficit to take the lead over Myers in late ballots… a stunning, eleventh hour, come from behind development.
Since that late Friday evening ballot drop on November 8th, Khan has maintained a slim lead over Myers. On November 26th, she finished the initial count with that lead intact, but by one vote less than the margin needed to avert a recount.
This week, King County Elections recounted all of the ballots in the Redmond City Council race via machine recount, and the result was the same: a victory for Varisha Khan by a margin of sixty-six votes. In less than two weeks, Varisha Khan will join the Redmond City Council as one of its seven members and as one of the first Muslim women ever elected to a city council in Washington State.
Here’s what she had to say after the recount results were delivered:
It’s finally officially official once and for all! The election is finally over and certified! We won!? ? ?? ?
I’m honored to have been elected to serve on Redmond City Council.
This win was made possible by thousands of people who played their own important roles along the way:
Voters, volunteers, donors, the King County Elections teams that counted and recounted to ensure every vote was counted, everyone who posted and shared our campaign with their friends and family…
My incredible campaign team who put in their blood, sweat, and tears day and night. And my family, who was endlessly supportive and there to help every step of the way.
If we learned anything, it’s that every single vote matters. One vote matters. One vote would have kept us out of recount. 66 votes put us over the edge. More to come. For now, I’m going to eat breakfast and get ready for Friday prayers.
We all earned this win. Celebrate and show gratitude. Then let’s get to work. Time for some positive change.
What an uplifting message, eh?
As a friend of Varisha’s who supported and advised her campaign, I couldn’t be more delighted to see her candidacy brought to a successful finish.
Varisha’s victory will help the Redmond City Council look a lot more like the community of Redmond. She’ll bring a perspective to the dais that the Council has never had before, benefiting everyone in Redmond.
Because voters also elected challenger Jessica Forsythe to the Council while selecting Vanessa Kritzer for Position# 5, the Council will go from majority male to supermajority female. The new Council (for 2020–2021) will consist of:
- Varisha Khan, Position #1
- Steve Fields, Position #2
- Jessica Forsythe, Position #3
- Tanika Padhye, Position #4
- Vanessa Kritzer, Position #5
- Jeralee Anderson, Position #6
- David Carson, Position #7
They will be joined at the dais by Mayor-elect Angela Birney (Kritzer’s predecessor on the Council) who is taking over from John Marchione.
I have high hopes for this new Council. Redmond has work to do on a host of issues, from tree canopy protection, building efficiency, replacing the poorly built and poorly maintained Senior Center, emergency preparedness, and mitigating the disruption that construction of Redmond Link will cause. This new Council seems like one that will be able to approach these issues with fresh, critical eyes.
The NPI team and I look forward to seeing them in action.
Congratulations to Varisha Khan and all of the other successful candidates in this year’s Redmond city council and mayoral elections. May you govern well!