Gregerson, Burrage advance in House District 33 race; Kent's Thomas takes third

Mia Gregerson and Jeanette Burrage will face off in the November general election in a House District 33 legislative race after both easily defeated Kent's Les Thomas in the primary election on Tuesday.

Gregerson, D-SeaTac, who currently holds the Position No. 2 seat, leads the race with 6,638 votes (49.51 percent). Burrage, R-Des Moines, has 4,999 votes (37.29 percent). Thomas, a Kent City Councilman who ran as an independent, has 1,738 votes (12.96 percent).

"It goes to show all of our hard work has panned out," Gregerson said during a phone interview. "I'm excited about the results but recognize there's a lot more work to do."

Gregerson, who was appointed to the House seat in December by the King County Council to fill Dave Upthegrove's seat when he left the Legislature for the County Council, didn't project prior to the primary who might be her opponent in November.

"I didn't formalize anything past Aug. 5," she said. "I just try to work hard in the moment."

Gregerson, a member of the SeaTac City Council, stayed away from saying much about taking on Barrage in November.

"I'm just going to run my own race," Gregerson said. "I do not go negative. I do a lot of community outreach at events and knock on a lot of doors."

Burrage, a Des Moines City Councilwoman, came away pleased with the results.

"Wow, that looks good," she said. "If you add mine and Les's numbers it almost adds up to Mia's."

Burrage said she's confident heading into the general election.

"I think I can beat her," Burrage said.

Burrage said the results were about what she expected. But she did have a gripe with Gregerson.

"I'm a little disappointed my opponent put an endorser on her list (which she mailed to registered voters) that hadn't endorsed her," Burrage said. "I understand she's going to remove the name. It's Dave Kaplan, the mayor of Des Moines. He said he's remaining neutral."

Gregerson removed Kaplan's name from her website's lengthy list of endorsements. Gregerson said "it was a mistake" as Kaplan's name was inadvertently left in place from an earlier page on her website.

"As soon as the error was brought to my attention, I corrected it," Gregerson said in a posting on her Facebook page. "I want to apologize both to Mayor Kaplan and to my opponents in the race for this mistake. My apologies also to you (voters) for this oversight. My team and I are committed to a fair and decent campaign, based on issues of importance to you, the residents of the 33rd district."

Thomas, who ran a low-budget campaign, said he had hoped to possibly get 15 to 20 percent of the vote.

"I was hoping to take numbers away from Mia," Thomas said. "There were three really good candidates, each on city councils and each has served in the Legislature.

Thomas said he expects a horse race between Gregerson and Burrage, especially if all of the votes for him go to the Republican candidate.

In other races, state Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, received 51 percent of the vote in a three-way race against Democrat Marilyn Taylor and Republican Martin Metz, of Des Moines. Metz captured 35 percent of the vote to move on to a November showdown with Keiser.

No other Kent-area races had more than two candidates.

But in District 47, Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, and Republican challenger Barry Knowles are in a tight race with Sullivan at 51.9 percent of the vote and Knowles at 47.9. Both will move on to November as the only two candidates.

The countywide results through Tuesday included tabulation of about 260,000 of the 275,000 ballots returned so far, said Sherril Huff, King County Elections director. Huff expects to see a large number of ballots arrive in the Wednesday mail. Ballots from final pickups at drop boxes are also expected.


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