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Bertlin Admits Gaffe in Local Voters Pamphlet

Mercer Island City Council Pos. 7 Challenger Debbie Bertlin blamed the omission of her candidate profile in the King County voters' pamphlet on a June submission deadline, shortly after the filing period.

Along with the arrival of mailed ballots before elections each year, local voters have come to expect candidates to put their best foot forward in the King County Local Voter's Guide.

But that didn't happen in Mercer Island's , pitting Open Space Conservancy chair Debbie Bertlin against Deputy Mayor El Jahncke for the position 7 seat. Turning to Mercer Island's various uncontested races in the guide, Bertlin's omission was conspicuous.

A late entrant to the race — her first political contest — on the final day of filing eligibility — but said she wasn't aware that when aspirants for office in King County file their names for the ballot, they also usually submit a statement for publication in the voters' guide at the same time.

According to a statement released by the Bertlin campagin on Wednesday, the deadline for submitting materials for the November election was June 17, just days after filing. Bertlin filed in the final hours of eligibility for the City Council seat.

"At this point, Debbie was just putting her campaign team together," said the Bertlin campaign in a press release. "Debbie has put significant energy into ensuring the availability on her background and platform across many medium, including Facebook, a website, and the many links to articles in and the ."

The campaign also cited a sympthetic Seattle Times editorial about the fact that King County Elections does not allow for updates between even the primary election and the general. 

The Mercer Island deputy mayor, on the other hand, also seemed somewhat unprepared for the challenge as well. In what seems to have become a running gag among his fellow councilmembers, a photo of Jahncke in the guide's entry on his candidacy appears to be about a decade or two old. Voters in the mail noticed the difference between the two photos.

Mercer Island Patch maintains detailed voter profiles of both and , found by clicking on the respective candidate's names.

The general election is Nov. 8.

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