Murphy had 4,876 votes or 57 percent of the total on Tuesday night to lead challenger Jackie Minchew, who had nearly 42 percent of the vote.
"I'm thrilled to be this far ahead tonight," Murphy said during an election-night part at the Everett Firefighters Hall. "As a first-time candidate, you're not always sure what to expect."
Murphy had been appointed in early 2013 to fill out a one-year vacancy left by former Councilman Arlan Hatloe's retirement.
The job is nonpartisan. It pays about $27,000 per year.
Minchew, who has run unsuccessfully in four previous council races, said he chose to challenge Murphy, in large part, so the appointed councilman would face a test at the polls. Minchew was the only challenger to step forward in an otherwise stagnant political year in Everett. Mayor Ray Stephanson ran unopposed, as did the other two council members up for re-election, Jeff Moore and Paul Roberts. Two Everett municipal judges also had no opponent.
Murphy, 51, of View Ridge, is a certified public accountant who works as the chief operating officer for Goldfinch Bros. of Everett. He previously served on the city planning commission.
Minchew, 63, is a music teacher at Lowell Elementary School. He also lives in Lowell.
He's also among a dozen people who have applied for a new council vacancy left by the resignation of Shannon Affholter, who's now leading the region's largest homebuilders group.
Arlington: Stickles, Raezer, Schuette lead
In Arlington, three-term incumbent Steve Baker is trailing newcomer Jesica Stickles. Baker, 61, who two years ago lost his bid to become mayor, was critical of the firefighters union's endorsement of his challenger.
On Tuesday, Stickles had picked up 1,005 votes or 50.4 percent of the vote to Baker's 974 votes or 48.85 percent. Stickles currently serves on two council-appointed committees and has been attending City Council meetings for about a year.
Other candidates endorsed by the firefighters union are leading in their council races as well, though incumbent City Councilman Chris Raezer's lead was narrow on Tuesday. Raezer collected 975 votes or 50.4 percent of the vote to challenger Shery Christianson's 951 votes or 49.05 percent.
In the race to fill the council seat held by Ken Klein, Jan Schuette, perhaps best known as chairwoman of Arlington's Relay for Life fundraisers for the American Cancer Society, was leading Mike Hopson, a municipal airport commissioner, with 1,134 votes or 57.92 percent of the vote to Hopson's 809 votes or 41.32 percent.
Brier: Colinas leads by large margin for mayor
In the race for Brier mayor, longtime incumbent Bob Colinas led challenger Adam Gregorich by a wide margin, 634 to 239. All the City Council positions were unopposed.
Colinas, 58, is the superintendent of the parks division at the city of Lynnwood. Before he was elected mayor in 2005, Colinas served two terms on the city council and one term on the Brier Planning Commission.
Gregorich is a manager for AT&T Cellular.
Edmonds: Incumbents lead in council races
In the three races for Edmonds City Council, the incumbents led.
For position 1, appointed incumbent Kristiana Johnson led challenger Randy Hayden, 4,135 votes to 2,096. Johnson was appointed last year to the seat formerly held by longtime councilman Michael Plunkett, who moved out of town.
For position 2, incumbent Strom Peterson led Alvin Rutledge, 4,658 to 1,649. Peterson, 45, is the owner of the Cheesemonger's Table, a downtown Edmonds shop and eatery. He was appointed in early 2009 and was elected to a four-year term later that year. Rutledge, 73, has been a consistent presence at city meetings for at least two decades.
The race for position 3 was much tighter, with incumbent Adrienne Fraley-Monillas leading former councilman Ron Wambolt 3,316 to 3,142.
Ron Wambolt is a retired vice president for the Fluke Corporation of Everett, which makes electronic medical and calibration equipment. He previously served a term on the Edmonds City Council from 2006-10. He was defeated by Fraley-Monillas and Lora Petso in the 2009 primary election, finishing three votes behind Petso.
Gold Bar: Loen leads opponents for mayor
In Gold Bar, Linda Loen was leading the mayor's race 53.9 percent to Elizabeth LaZella's 26.9 percent and Larry Dum had 15.4 percent. Loen, 57, works temporary accounting jobs. LaZella, 63, is a retired respiratory therapist who served a brief stint as an appointed city council member.
Unlike other general election contest, the mayor's race included three candidates. That's because the position attracted no candidates during the original filing period in May. Three Gold Bar residents applied during a special filing period in August.
Dum announced he was dropping out for health reasons. His decision came too late to remove his name from the ballot.
Granite Falls: Golston leading for mayor
Granite Falls mayoral candidate Joshua Golston was feeling optimistic at 171 votes, or 63.6 percent. Opponent Edward Lee had 94 votes, or just under 35 percent.
Golston was appointed to the City Council in 2009.
"The vote looks good," Golston said Tuesday night. "The people are speaking that they want to see some changes in Granite Falls, and I'm happy to work with them to do that."
Lake Stevens: Tageant leading for city council
In the lone uncontested race for the Lake Stevens City Council, incumbent Marcus Tageant was leading, with 51 percent of the vote to challenger Michael Boe's 47 percent. Tageant, 41, owns three businesses in Lake Stevens. Tageant, who serves on the council's budget committee, said he is proposing hiring two additional police officers and he said he is confident that they will be hired.
Both candidates said that traffic continues to be one of the city's biggest issues, particularly in the area of Frontier Village and the intersection of highways 9 and 204.
Lynnwood: Boyer, Cotton, Ross leading
In the Lynnwood council races, incumbent Christopher Boyer was leading Michael Moore with 1,728 votes, or 54 percent. In two open-seat races, Ian Cotton led former councilman Jim Smith, 52.1 percent to 47.4 percent. Former councilwoman Ruth Ross had 1,696 votes, or 53.8 percent, to opponent Douglas Lovitt's 44.1 percent.
Marysville: 3 council incumbents leading
In Marysville, the incumbent City Council members were leading in their races.
Ten-year incumbent Jeffrey Vaughan had a solid lead over challenger Eli Olson, who is perhaps best known for his unsuccessful run for Congress in 2012. Vaughan took 4,136 votes or 69.19 percent of the vote to Olson's 1,802 votes or 30.14 percent.
Three-term incumbent Jeff Seibert garnered 3,543 or 59.18 percent of the vote. His challenger, library board member B.J. Guillot, got 2,409 votes or 40.24 percent.
Scott Allen, a city parks board member who made his second bid to join the City Council, was losing to Councilwoman Kamille Norton, who was appointed to her seat in February.
Allen received 2,206 votes or 37.14 percent of the vote to Norton's 3,698 votes or 62.27 percent.
Mill Creek: 3 of 4 incumbents trailing
In Mill Creek, three of the four incumbent City Council members are losing after the first night of ballot counting.
Councilwoman Donna Michelson, the longest serving member of the council, is on course for re-election to her Position 2 seat. She garnered 59.2 percent of the vote Tuesday and leads challenger Jason Wingert by a margin of 1,520 votes to 1,033 votes.
Pam Pruitt holds a slight edge on Councilwoman Kathy Nielsen in the fight for the Position 3 seat. Pruitt, who is a former councilmember, is ahead 1,313 votes to 1,232 votes.
In the battle for the Position 1 seat, challenger Sean Kelly holds a commanding lead on Councilman Lynn Sordel, 1,423 votes to 1,040 votes. Sordel is trying to retain the seat to which he was appointed in November 2012.
And first-time candidate Brian Holtzclaw is well ahead of Councilman Bart Masterson in their duel for the Position 4 seat. Holtzclaw received 1,427 votes to Masterson's 1,085.
Monroe: Rasmussen, Hanford, Goering lead
Three races are being decided on the Monroe city council.
In the Position 1 race, Kevin Hanford, who has served for the past two years in the council's at-large seat, was in a tight race with Brad Waddell, who works at the Monroe Correctional Complex and was making his first bid for political office. Hanford was leading with nearly 51 percent of the vote to Waddell's 48 percent.
In the Position 3 race, Jeff Rasmussen, an assistant vice president and bank manager for Washington Federal Bank in Snohomish, was leading with nearly 53 percent of the vote. Mike Stanger, who works at a Seattle consulting firm, had nearly 47 percent.
In the race for the at-large seat, Kurt Goering, who has served on the city council for the past six years, appears to be the winner. Goering had nearly 57 percent of the vote Tuesday evening to Daniel Williams' 42.5 percent. Williams, an Army veteran, was making his first bid for political office.
Mountlake Terrace: McCardle, Wright lead
In the contested races in Mountlake Terrace, the incumbents were all leading Tuesday night.
Position 3 Councilman Doug McCardle led challenger Stephen Barnes, 1,060 to 987. Position 4 Councilwoman Kyoko Wright led Wanda Clarke-Morin, 1,281 to 838. Bryan Wahl, who holds the council seat for position 5, led Leonard French 1,192 to 914.
Mukilteo: Wheeler, Champion, Lord lead
In Mukilteo, in the lone battle for an open seat, Ted Wheeler led Terry Preshaw by 31 votes, 1,356 to 1,325. Wheeler is chairman of the city's Parks and Arts Commission, an advisory board, making his first run for City Council. Preshaw is a longtime city activist who ran two years ago and was narrowly defeated by Emily Vanderwielen.
In the other races, challenger Bob Champion, also making his first try for council, led City Councilman Richard Emery, 1,442 to 1,206. Incumbent Councilman Randy Lord held a strong lead over Fred Taylor, 1,876 to 801
Snohomish: Burke, Randall lead for council
In Snohomish, candidates Derrick Burke and Dean Randall were leading. Burke had 398 votes, or 51.6 percent, and Randall had 471 votes, or 58.2 percent.
Burke was appointed to the council in 2010. A Snohomish resident since 1999, he owns Puget Sound Woodworking. The business in the city's downtown historic district teaches woodworking classes and offers custom woodworking and other services.
Randall served on the Snohomish City Council from 1996 through 1999. Retired after more than 25 years with GTE and Verizon Communications, he took a break from the council before running again in 2005.
Herald staff reporters Jerry Cornfield, Gale Fiege, Noah Haglund, Rikki King, Sharon Salyer and Bill Sheets contributed to this report.
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