EVERETT — It’s looking almost certain Everett’s next mayor will be named Cassie Franklin or Judy Tuohy.
Franklin and Tuohy remained in the top two spots in Tuesday’s primary election.
A near-complete ballot count Friday showed Brian Sullivan stuck in third.
Sullivan remained close behind second-place finisher Tuohy, but apparently outside of recount range.
If this ultimately proves a loss, it would be a stunning misfire for one of the most-seasoned players in local politics.
Calls and text messages to Sullivan and his campaign manager were not returned Friday.
Four candidates were vying to replace Mayor Ray Stephanson, who plans to retire at the end of the year. Stephanson has held the job since 2003.
The top three contenders were bunched close together, each pulling around 30 percent support.
Friday’s results showed Franklin at 31.7 percent, Tuohy at 29.5 percent and Sullivan just under 29 percent.
Franklin was 288 votes ahead of Tuohy.
The spread between Sullivan and Tuohy remained the same as a day earlier at 67 votes. That was despite another 156 votes getting tallied.
Sullivan and Tuohy would need to be within 38 votes to trigger an automatic recount, given the current numbers, Snohomish County elections manager Garth Fell said.
A fourth candidate, substitute teacher Shean Nasin, was far behind in his political debut, with 9.6 percent.
Just 15 votes remained to be counted in the race, Fell said. That number could grow slightly, as outstanding signature issues get fixed or other ballots arrive with valid postmarks.
The next update is expected Wednesday afternoon.
Franklin was elected to the City Council in 2015 and works as the executive director of Cocoon House, a nonprofit that serves homeless and at-risk youth. Franklin moved to Everett in 2013, but started working in the city several years earlier.
Tuohy has been the executive director of the Schack Art Center for more than 20 years. Born and raised in Everett, she was elected to the City Council in 2014.
Sullivan has served on the Snohomish County Council for the past decade. Before that, he served in the state House, as Mukilteo mayor and on the Mukilteo City Council. He moved to Everett in early 2015.
Sullivan raised substantially more campaign cash than his competitors, thanks largely to support from unions. The mayor’s job is nonpartisan.
Sullivan had $126,307 in donations as of Friday, compared to $67,783 for Tuohy and $64,116 for Franklin, according to state campaign-finance disclosures. Nasin reported $12,860.
Franklin and Tuohy each said they’d welcome support from the labor groups and Democratic Party organizations that backed Sullivan. Many of those organizations had supported the women in their past council races.
“They’re my friends,” Tuohy said of the Everett firefighters. “I certainly think they’d be great to have on board.”
And Sullivan’s support as well.
“I certainly would love to have a conversation with him,” Franklin said. “I’d be honored to have his endorsement.”
Tuohy said, “I would certainly like to sit down and talk to him.”
Turnout countywide was 23.7 percent.
The primary thinned the number of candidates trying for seats on the County Council, a new mayor’s job in Snohomish, city councils, fire commissions and school boards. Voters in south Snohomish County supported a regional fire authority, combining the Lynnwood Fire Department and neighboring Fire District 1.
A race for a seat on the Edmonds School District board was within hand-recount range between second and third place. Deborah Kilgore was far ahead with 44.1 percent of the votes. Opponents Cindy Sackett and Cathy Baylor were separated by just 3 votes, with just under 27.7 percent apiece. Fell, the elections manager, said there were fewer than 25 votes left to count in that race.