EDMONDS — Two local cities were sure to get a new mayor in this election: Mike Nelson had the edge in Edmonds on Tuesday night and Brett Gailey led in Lake Stevens.
Mukilteo, meanwhile, was determined to keep its strong-mayor form of government. Proposition 1 gave voters there the chance to switch to a council-manager system, in which a council member serves as mayor, or to stick with the current system of directly electing a mayor to run the city. But nearly 70% of voters were rejecting it.
“I was happy to see how things turned out,” Mayor Jennifer Gregerson said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to serve as mayor for the remainder of my term and working with new councilmembers.”
Several other cities were deciding whether to re-elect a mayor: Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring had a commanding 75% of the vote against challenger Michael Patrick and Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert had a narrow advantage of 50.5% against Don Vanney Jr.
In Sultan, leadership looked likely to change. Russell Wiita, a city councilman, took 60.2% of the votes against incumbent Mayor John Seehuus.
The Snohomish County Auditor’s Office expects to release updated vote totals around 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Edmonds voters were picking between two city councilmen to take over for Mayor Dave Earling, who opted against running for re-election. Nelson was leading rival Neil Tibbott Tuesday with 51.8% of the vote, a 279-vote lead.
Four Edmonds City Council seats also were on the ballot.
As in Edmonds, the Lake Stevens mayor’s job was open because the current office holder decided to step down at the end of this year, and two city councilmen were competing for the job. The initial ballot count from Tuesday’s election showed Gailey ahead of Kurt Hilt with 53% of the vote, putting him 211 votes ahead.
“I’m liking the margin, and we’ll have to wait to see what the final margin is, but I’m optimistic,” Gailey said after the results arrived.
In addition to serving on the City Council, Gailey works as an Everett police officer, Hilt as a firefighter-paramedic in south Snohomish County.
Lake Stevens voters also were deciding three contested city council races.
In addition to considering whether to restructure City Hall, Mukilteo voters got to decide four contested council races featuring a former mayor, a business owner who launched a secret campaign in 2016 opposing a new mosque, the Boeing engineer who led the mosque project and a face-off between two sitting council incumbents.
Elisabeth Crawford led Peter Zieve, the 2016 mosque opponent, with 60.7% of the vote in Position 6.
Riaz Khan, the mosque project’s proponent, had slightly over 50% of the vote against Christopher Maddux for Position 5. Former Mayor Joe Marine garnered 66.2% of the total for Position 7 over Kristina Melnichenko. In the Position 4 race featuring two sitting councilmembers, Richard Emery was ahead with 54.7% over Scott Whelpley.
Election results are due to be certified Nov. 26.
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @NWhaglund.