Two election workers seal up boxes of ballots after closing the county courthouse ballot box at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Two election workers seal up boxes of ballots after closing the county courthouse ballot box at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

54 votes separate Mill Creek race; some gaps widen in new ballot count

The outcome of many major races remained largely unchanged with updated election results Wednesday in Snohomish County.

EVERETT — A controversial Mill Creek City Council incumbent’s narrow lead for re-election was trending toward a recount Wednesday evening, but remained outside the margin required by state law.

Elsewhere, a new drop of over 20,000 ballots reaffirmed big leads and tight races in Snohomish County. The county estimated 52,000 ballots remained to be processed as of Wednesday.

Mill Creek council incumbent Vincent Cavaleri narrowly maintained his lead Wednesday in the Position 5 race against Tannis Golebiewski. The gap narrowed to 54 votes. The day before, it was 64. Cavaleri received 50.67%, with Golebiewski getting 49.22%.

Cavaleri, a longtime Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy, ran for U.S. Congress last year as a Republican, but lost to U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, a Democrat.

Machine recounts in Washington are triggered for non-statewide races when candidates are separated by fewer than 2,000 votes and also fewer than 0.5% of total votes cast.

Recounts by hand are required when the difference is less than 150 votes and less than 0.25% of total votes.

Several races in the county didn’t quite qualify for a mandatory recount, but remained close.

In Monroe’s school board race for District 2, incumbent Chuck Whitfield led by just nine votes Tuesday over Melanie Ryan. Wednesday’s updated results showed Whitfield’s lead extended to 155 votes, or 2.2%.

After the first drop of ballot Tuesday night in South County Fire, challenger Edward Widdis had just a 25-vote lead over incumbent Derek Daniels for a commissioner seat. Widdis’ lead extended to 248 votes over Daniels on Wednesday, with over 30,000 votes counted for the race.

Recounts will be determined once all ballots are counted.

Candidates for the top positions in the county held their leads. Susanna Johnson’s lead against incumbent Adam Fortney shrunk slightly from Tuesday’s initial tabulations. Johnson had 51.7% of the vote. Fortney had 48.21%.

County Executive Dave Somers and County Council member Megan Dunn, who are Democrats, both continued to hold their sizable leads against Republican challengers.

Just over 35% of ballots issued had been returned.

The next update to election results will be at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Jenelle Baumbach: 360-352-8623; jenelle.baumbach@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @jenelleclar.

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