Leslie Hamada and Donald Cook

Leslie Hamada and Donald Cook

Incumbent Hamada in tight Kent School Board race against Cook

Incumbent Margel has solid lead against Carter

Kent School Board incumbent Leslie Hamada is in a tight race to retain her seat while incumbent Meghin Margel is on the way to keeping her position.

Hamada received 50.64% (7,342 votes) while challenger Donald Cook had 48.54% (7,038 votes), according to results released Tuesday night, Nov. 7 by King County Elections. Margel had 58.43% (8,579 votes) while challenger Andy Carter had 40.97% (6,015 votes).

King County Elections will update results of the Nov. 7 general election ballot each weekday until certifying results on Nov. 28.

Andy Song ran unopposed on the ballot. He will replace Joe Bento, who decided not to seek reelection, which means the five-member board will have at least one new member.

Hamada had the most votes in the Aug. 1 primary while Cook took second among four candidates. The two candidates with the most votes advanced to the general election. Hamada had 48.14% followed by Cook at 23.91%, Stephanie Lawson at 19.23% and Lizz Morgan at 7.97%. Lawson and Morgan endorsed Cook.

Hamada has raised $24,168, basically all money she gave to herself, and spent $22,161, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) website on Nov. 7. Cook has raised $3,950 and spent $3,239. Hamada spent most of her money on campaign mailers, signs and management and consulting services.

Hamada didn’t file a contribution and expenditure report in 2019 when she ran unopposed to earn her first four-year term on the board.

Carter raised $2,345 and spent $100, according to the PDC. Margel has not filed a contribution and expenditure report due to staying below the contribution and spending threshold.

The board appointed Margel to the seat in September 2022 after Michele Bettinger resigned. Carter was a finalist for the appointment.

Hamada has a long list of endorsements on her campaign website, including former Democratic State Rep. Pat Sullivan of Covington; state Sen. Claudia Kauffman, D-Kent; State Rep. Chris Stearns, D-Auburn; State Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines; King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove; and Kent Mayor Dana Ralph.

Margel’s endorsements include Ralph; Upthegrove; King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn; and Renton Mayor Armondo Pavone.


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Andy Carter and Meghin Margel

Andy Carter and Meghin Margel

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