The final results of the August primary election show that Joe Nguyen, candidate for state senate, finished ahead of his closest competitor Shannon Braddock by a margin of more than 6 percent, winning 31 percent of the vote.
Nguyen had 14,019 votes compared to Braddock, who received 11,114. While Nguyen had a resolute victory at large — voter turnout across King County was slightly higher than forecasted — Vashon favored Braddock, who received 379 more votes from islanders than Nguyen.
In total, nearly 58 percent of registered voters living on the island cast a ballot in the primary. Residents of Vashon’s north and south end, as well as those living in Portage and on Maury Island, came out as some of Braddock’s strongest supporters. Braddock has a fleet of high-profile endorsements, including The Seattle Times, the 34th Legislative District Democrats and King County Democrats, as well as King County Executive Dow Constantine and council chair Joe McDermott.
In contrast, voters living in the Dilworth area of Vashon, along with a notable contingent of Dockton residents, chose Nguyen. His endorsements include The Stranger, the 34th Legislative District Democrats and King County Democrats.
In addition to naming his background as a senior manager at Microsoft “critical to understanding our region’s growing economy,” a press release sent by Nguyen’s campaign declared that his possible victory in November as a Vietnamese American would be historic. According to the release, Nguyen would be the first ever Vietnamese American serving as a legislator in the Washington State Senate.
“We are excited to be a part of a movement that rejects the status quo and asks for our politicians to take bold stances to solve our most pressing problems. I know that when I’m out [knocking] on doors, people want more from their representatives and they want to know that people are going to listen. I am proud to have the trust of the voters,” Nguyen said in the press release.
Michael Charles, a spokesperson for the Nguyen campaign, said that they will be hosting a meet and greet with island voters on Sunday, Sept. 9 at the Vashon-Maury Land Trust from 5 to 8 p.m.
Braddock was last on the island Saturday where she joined a demonstration spearheaded by the Backbone Campaign to create a human mural of an orca whale in honor of J-35, the mother of a newborn orca calf that died this month. J-35, named Tahlequah, mourned for her dead baby in a striking 17 day-long journey that was extensively followed by the public and media.
On the phone, Braddock said her campaign was mobilizing and that she was undaunted by the work ahead to prove why she is the right choice for voters.
“It’s at the point where you just get out in the community as much as you can,” she said. “Lots of doorbelling, lots of meeting and greeting, getting to know people, lots of fundraising, and it’s just all to demonstrate why I’m the best candidate for the 34th, and that means being out in the community as much as possible.”
Braddock said that she was in the process of finalizing her schedule but would return to the island in the near future. In a campaign email to supporters, she wrote that one of her focuses in the state legislature, if elected, would be to pursue tuition-free community college in Washington to help combat rising student debt.
Previously, Braddock, who is a single mother with school-age children, said she is hoping to increase the number of the women in the Senate; currently there are 19 women out of the 49 members.