NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, December 6th, 2019

Recount complete! Varisha Khan elected to four year term on Redmond City Council

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.

Varisha Khan

Incom­ing Red­mond City Coun­cilmem­ber Var­isha Khan (Cam­paign pho­to)

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!

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One Comment

  1. This is progress.

    # by Paul Phipps :: December 7th, 2019 at 2:45 PM