From left: Sherri Larkin, Monica Weber, Sarah Adams

From left: Sherri Larkin, Monica Weber, Sarah Adams

2,744 to 2,744: On primary night, Snohomish school board race is tied

Sarah Adams and Monica Weber, aligned on many issues, are in a close race to face Sherri Larkin in the general election.

SNOHOMISH — An incumbent and challenger for a seat on the Snohomish school board were deadlocked with the same number of votes in the initial tally Tuesday.

Early returns from Tuesday’s primary showed mental health counselor Sarah Adams, the incumbent, and retired teacher Monica Weber tied at 32.6%, with exactly 2,744 votes each. Teacher Sherri Larkin, in the lead with 34.4% of the vote, would advance to the general election if the results hold.

“In smaller jurisdictions, especially with local primaries, close races are not uncommon,” said Matthew Pangburn, the county elections manager.

Elections officials are still counting, he said. After the first tally last night, they began processing 11,000 more ballots. Results won’t be official until Aug. 15.

In his time at the auditor’s office, Pangburn said he has seen multiple races come down to a handful of votes. The state requires machine recounts if “the difference between the top two candidates is less than 2,000 votes AND ALSO less than half of 1% of the total number of votes cast for both candidates.”

A manual recount is required when the difference is less than 150 votes and less than 0.25% of the total votes cast.

In the case of an exact tie, it may be down to chance, according to state law.

“If the election was officially certified and it was still an exact tie, we’d flip a coin,” he said.

Larkin, a first-time candidate, said the tie between Adams and Weber was unexpected.

“I have no idea who will pull ahead, but I hope I keep the lead,” she said.

Weber said she hopes to advance past the primary, but will support Adams if she doesn’t.

“If Sarah Adams pulls ahead, I will do everything I can to make sure she wins in November over the candidate who only taught in private schools and didn’t send her children to public school,” she said by text on Wednesday.

Adams said she was feeling optimistic.

“I am very proud of what I have accomplished during my time on the school board,” she said in an email Wednesday.

Last year, the board appointed Adams, who wanted to help meet students’ “academic and social-emotional needs” as they recover from the pandemic. Outside the board, she manages a team at Compass Health that provides trauma counseling to families in Snohomish County. She has two children enrolled in district schools.

Adams is on the committee for the Snohomish School District Strategic Plan that maps district goals for the next five years. She has campaigned on supporting student mental health, board transparency and academic success.

Weber taught in public schools for 42 years, spending 29 of those years in Snohomish schools. For the past five years, she has been the Snohomish Education Association president. She has campaigned on ensuring student equity and mental health support for students, teachers and staff.

Larkin has taught elementary education for 13 years. She said her primary lead is likely due to her focus on improving academic success.

“There’s been a shift from reading and writing basics to social issues, which distract from learning,” she said.

She added that parents say there are too many assemblies, and the “end of year culture” means students lose almost a month of education to watching movies.

Sydney Jackson: 425-339-3430;; Twitter: @_sydneyajackson.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Granite Falls ‘10-foot alligator’ is actually a tegu named ‘Tazz’

Anybody who spots the docile lizard, last seen near Granite Falls, is asked to notify 911, so Tazz can be reunited with owner.

Photos by Olivia Vanni / The Herald
Gabby Bullock sits on her bed in a room she shares with another housemate on June 14 in Everett.
‘We don’t have openings’: SnoCo recovery houses struggle with demand

Advocates say the homes are critical for addiction recovery. But home prices make starting a sober living house difficult.

Melinda Grenier serves patrons at her coffee truck called Hay Girl Coffee during the third annual Arlington Pride event in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Food safety team defends its work: it’s a ‘high pressure, thankless’ job

Management tried to set the record straight about long permit delays in Snohomish County.

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Global tech outage leaves a mark on Snohomish County

The CrowdStrike software update hit some systems at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and briefly disrupted 911 operations.

Performers joust during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire at Sky Meadows Park in Snohomish, Washington, on Sunday, Aug. 06, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Royalty and revelry: The spirit of the Renaissance comes to Monroe

The annual Renaissance fair will open its doors every weekend from July 20 to Aug. 18

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.