Mayoral candidate Cassie Franklin is cheered by daughter Panda, husband David and Randy Bolerjack (right) after seeing the first results of the election on Tuesday in Everett. Franklin, Judy Tuohy and Brian Sullivan were nearly tied. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Close race for Everett mayor: Tuohy, Franklin and Sullivan

Primary election 2017 results

EVERETT — Experience, know-how on social issues and ties to downtown all proved useful to Everett’s leading mayoral candidates Tuesday night.

Judy Tuohy, Cassie Franklin and Brian Sullivan fell within two percentage points of one another in the first round of ballot counting. They agreed it was too close to call.

Tuohy had 30.9 percent while Franklin had 30.3 percent, a difference of 54 votes. Sullivan was close behind with 29.6 percent. Shean Nasin was trailing with 8.9 percent.

Tuohy said she was thankful.

“It’s a very close race, so I don’t want to be too optimistic, but obviously we’re thrilled,” she said. “We’ll see how it pans out the rest of the week.”

Later in the evening, she released a statement, saying the results show she is connecting with voters. “I grew up in this community and know it inside and out,” she said.

Franklin attributed the narrow leads to the hard work of her team and those supporting her opponents.

“We’re really hopeful that we’ll be in a good position,” she said.

Sullivan noted that he was behind initially in his last run for Snohomish County Council. That didn’t deter him then either.

“We ran a really good campaign, a really clean campaign,” he said. “This is a dead heat.”

The next results are expected Wednesday evening. After the numbers are certified, the top two vote-getters will advance to the general election in November.

Tuohy, 63, a current council member, oversees the Schack Art Center. She has raised about $67,100.

Franklin, 45, runs the nonprofit Cocoon House and serves on the council. She has raised nearly $60,600, according to state records.

Sullivan, 59, is a longtime local politician and businessman. He has raised $126,307. Much of that came from police, firefighters and their unions.

Nasin, 43, is a substitute teacher. He raised just under $13,000. He acknowledged Tuesday the race likely is over for him. He wished luck to the other candidates as he decides what’s next, he said. He’s planning to stay involved.

Running was “one of the toughest things I’ve ever done,” he said.

If the early patterns hold, the mayor’s race may be the only shakeup in city leadership for 2018. Three City Council positions are up for election in November.

As of Tuesday night, council incumbents Paul Roberts, Jeff Moore and Scott Murphy were leading in their primary races. All had more than 50 percent of ballots counted. Roberts is likely to face Leland Dart in November. Alex Lark is Moore’s top challenger so far. For Murphy, it’s Jennifer Hesse.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; Twitter: @rikkiking.

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