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Kirkland incumbents advance to general election; hopeful takes early lead

Election 2011 - File art
Election 2011
— image credit: File art

Two incumbent Kirkland City Council members are headed for the November general-election ballot, but one set of results from the Tuesday primary vote was remarkably close.

Preliminary figures from the primary voting had Councilmembers Bob Sternoff and Dave Asher both going to the general election.

Sternoff, however, was narrowly outpolled in those primary results by a challenger, Jason Gardiner.

The King County elections division showed that 8,514 of Kirkland's 47,724 registered voters bothered to cast ballots in the mail-in Tuesday election, about 17.84 percent, with these results:

For Council Position 2, Sternoff drew 3,485 votes, or 46.2 percent, while Gardiner got 3,566, or 47.28 percent, of the vote. A third candidate, Chuck Hinson, who had not actively campaigned, drew 443 votes.

For Council Position 6, Asher got 3,942 votes, 51.35 percent, while James A. "Jim" Hart drew 2,064, or 26.89 percent. A third candidate, Martin Morgan, drew 1,625 votes.

Sternoff said he "looks forward to a full and complete discussion of the issues" and that he wasn't bothered by the initial results."I don't even look at that," he said. "It's a primary. Only 18 percent of the voters voted. It's a big city."

In a statement, Gardiner said he's also preparing for the November ballot.

"This is going to be a tough race, as only 80 votes separated Bob and I," noted Gardiner.

Asher said he was pleased with the primary results, but thinks his opponent needs to do more homework.

"I am certainly glad to have a majority of those primary votes," said Asher in a statement, adding that Hart "demonstrates he has not done his homework."

Hart, in turn, was out picking up his campaign signs Wednesday morning to get ready for the fall.

"He wants to be sure they can be used again," in November, said his daughter, Keri Hart. "He doesn't want them sitting out for two months."

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