Candidates hang on to leads in tight county races

ELECTION 2016: RESULTSSTORIES

EVERETT — Front-runners held steady in some of the closest races for elected office in Snohomish County on Wednesday, the second day of vote counting, as a massive regional transit plan sealed victory.

Sam Low maintained a narrow advantage over Snohomish County Councilman Hans Dunshee. The Lake Stevens City council president was leading Dunshee on Wednesday by 655 votes and 50.7 percent of the total.

On election night, Low led Dunshee by 352 votes and just over 50 percent of the total.

They’re competing for a special one-year term in office to finish the term that Dave Somers left early after being elected executive last year. An election to a full four-year term in council District 5, covering the eastern part of the county, is due in the fall of 2017.

By Wednesday, election officials had counted nearly half of the 456,502 ballots issued countywide.

Updated results are expected around 5 p.m. Thursday.

One of the candidates jostling for an open spot on the Snohomish County Superior Court bench maintained her lead in Wednesday’s counts.

Cindy Larsen, a deputy county prosecutor, had 50.9 percent of the vote and a 4,170-vote advantage over Rico Tessandore, a civil attorney with a practice in Lynn- wood. Her lead grew by just 7 votes from a day earlier.

The winner will take over for Judge Thomas Wynne, whose term is up this year. The longtime jurist filed for re-election in May but later withdrew his name.

Sound Transit’s $54 billion rail and bus expansion package was passing handily. ST3 enjoyed nearly 55 percent support across Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. It was passing with 51.4 percent support in Snohomish County and 58.4 percent support in King County, but was being rejected by 55.7 percent in Pierce County.

“We had an historic opportunity to invest in the long term economic and environmental health of our region, and the people have said ‘yes,’ ” Somers said in a prepared statement.

Somers promised to “do all I can on the Sound Transit Board to ensure that Link light rail to Paine Field and Everett is constructed as quickly as possible.”

The measure includes a combination of increases to sales taxes, property taxes and car-tab fees.

The Snohomish County portion of Sound Transit’s taxing district extends over the more densely populated portions of the county as far north as Everett.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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