EVERETT — Two familiar faces are getting a shot at returning to the Mukilteo City Council, and a very young face will be moving on to the general election in Lynnwood.
Meanwhile, one-time council colleagues will likely square off in Snohomish, and voters in Everett got their first chance to decide who should represent them in newly established City Council districts.
Here’s a roundup of results after the first night of ballot-counting Tuesday. The next update of results will be posted Wednesday.
Snohomish County Auditor Garth Fell reported 14,000 ballots were left to count. That total will change with the addition of ballots collected from drop boxes Tuesday and received in the mail Wednesday.
City Councilman Louis Harris, the city’s first Black council member, is heading to a November match-up with controversial repeat candidate Peter Zieve.
Harris, a public benefits specialist for the state who was appointed to the post last year, collected 48.2% in Tuesday’s tally. Zieve, an aerospace executive, had 40.6%, followed by Tina Over with 9.6%. Zieve and Over are each making their third bids for a council seat.
For Position 2, Kevin Stoltz, a former two-term council member, made a strong showing, garnering 40.1%. Tom Jordal was in second place Tuesday with 28.4%, and Caitlein Ryan was next at 23.9%. Ayesha Riaz Khan, wife of Councilman Riaz Khan, received 7.3% and will not be getting a chance to join her husband on the council.
In Position 3, Steve Schmalz, who also served two prior terms on the council, had a solid lead, as well. He collected 39.1% with Alex Crocco and Carolyn “Dode” Carlson battling for the next spot. Only 12 votes separated Crocco, with 24%, and Carlson, with 23.6%. Tim Ellis received 13.1%.
Housing — high-density, affordable and growth — was a hot-button issue in all three races and will continue to be a central issue in the fall. In addition, the question of whether citizens want high-density housing will be an advisory ballot measure in November.
Don Schwab, a retired Everett firefighter and current deputy treasurer for Snohomish County, won the primary for the City Council seat in District 3 with 73.2%. He is poised to face Lacey Sauvageau, an emergency dispatcher who garnered 18.4%. Jacob Vail, a member of the city’s parks advisory board, received 7.7%.
The district encompasses the Boulevard Bluffs, Harborview-Seahurst-Glenhaven, View Ridge-Madison, Evergreen and South Forest Park neighborhoods.
In District 5, Ben Zarlingo, longtime resident and Silver Lake activist, was leading with 47.6%, followed by Demi Chatters, a member of the county’s Human Rights Commission, with 27.3%, and Kelly Fox, executive director of Snohomish County Emergency Medical Services, with 24.2%. Only 54 votes separate Chatters and Fox.
The district is comprised of the Cascade View, Pinehurst-Beverly Park, Twin Creeks and Silver Lake neighborhoods.
Incumbent City Councilman Steve Dana and Karen Guzak, a former council member, look to be moving on to a November match-up for Position 7.
Dana, 71, a former restaurant owner and real estate agent, led Tuesday with 38.6%. Guzak, owner of two businesses in Snohomish, had 37.8% and trailed by only 12 votes. Tabitha Baty, president of Snohomish for Equity, had 23.6% in her first run for office.
Dana is seeking a second term in his second stint on the council. He previously served from 1989 to 1997. Guzak, 82, is seeking to return after serving on the council from 2007-17. She ran for mayor in 2017 and lost by 80 votes to John Kartak.
Baty, 47, is making her first bid for city office.
In the race for Position 5, Dave Flynn, a flooring contractor, was leading Kara Zimmerman, a real estate agent, by a margin of 50% to 35.4%. Becky Perkins, who did not actively campaign, was third with 14.1%
The seat is currently held by Linda Redmon, the council president. She passed on re-election to run for mayor.
Former City Councilmember Shirley Sutton is poised to head to the general election in November for Position 1 after collecting 45.1% of the vote Tuesday evening.
Small business owner Nick Coelho led planning commissioner Chris Eck by a slim margin, 28.0% to 26.2%. Sutton, previously served one term from 2015-19.
Only 86 votes separated the three candidates competing for Position 2.
Councilman Patrick Decker, who was appointed to the seat in June, held the lead with 34.2%, followed by former mayor Don Gough with 33.5% and Naz Lashgari, former chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission (DEI), with 32% of the vote.
Joshua Binda, 21, the youngest candidate in the contest for Position 3, raced to a comfortable lead in the first night of ballot counting.
Binda, chairman of the DEI commission, collected 42.2%, with Lisa Utter, a former three-term City Council member, next with 32.8%. James Rutherford was in third with nearly 24.8%.
Utter and Binda align on many issues, including expanding access to affordable housing and investing in “green” energy and infrastructure.
“I’m feeling good. This is a historic moment right now, me being 21, and being able to do something this big is very powerful,” Binda said.
Races for two City Council seats focused on issues of housing affordability, climate change and the transparency and civility of the city leaders.
Councilman Luke Distelhorst found himself in danger of being unable to defend his Position 2 seat this fall.
Janelle Cass, a business owner and military veteran, led the four-person race with 32.7%, followed by Will Chen, an Edmonds-based accountant, with 29%. Distelhorst had 22.1% — 650 votes behind Chen — and Lora Petso, a former City Council member received 16.1%.
Distelhorst is seeking to retain the seat he was appointed to in 2020 after it was left vacant when Councilmember Mike Nelson was elected mayor.
Position 1 incumbent Councilwoman Kristiana Johnson garnered 45.4% as she took on challengers Alicia Crank and Brian Hartman. Crank, with a career in business and nonprofit management, had 43.3% and Hartman, who has worked in aerospace and information technology, had 11.2%.
Johnson, who was appointed to her seat in 2012, is seeking a third full term. In 2019, she ran unsuccessfully for Edmonds mayor.
Incumbent Councilman Jeffrey Vaughan, first elected in 2003, held a slim lead on challenger Cindy Gobel, 43.9% to 39.7%. Daniel Brady, the third candidate in this race, had 16%.
Vaughan is seeking a fifth full term against Gobel, who ran for Snohomish County Auditor in 2019. She collected 48.5% of the vote in that countywide race.
Snohomish County Council
Incumbent Republican Councilman Nate Nehring easily won the primary for the District 1 seat and will face Democrat challenger Nicole Ng-A-Qui this fall.
Nehring hauled in 65.9% of the vote Tuesday night as Ng-A-Qui received 27.6%, and fellow Democrat Richard Yust garnered 6.3%.
Nehring is one of the Grand Old Party’s leading political voices in Snohomish County, and is looking to extend the party’s dominance in the district. No Democrat has won a general election in District 1 since 1997.
Marysville School Board
Wade Rinehardt, a vocal opponent of critical race theory, soared to victory in the primary and will face incumbent school director Vanessa Edwards this fall in District 4.
Rinehardt received nearly 45% of the vote after the first count while Edwards tallied 26.8%.
Clarence Shaw, who is backed by the Marysville Education Association and previously served on a school board in California, only received 17.2% of the vote. Jim Ross, who is making his first bid for elected office, had just under 11%.
Edwards served on the board of directors as it navigated multiple changes in command at the superintendent level. She also responded to the pandemic and to calls for racial justice after racist threats directed toward students of color.
She beat Shaw for the seat in 2017.
Everett School Board
Incumbent Traci Mitchell overwhelmed two challengers to easily win Tuesday’s primary.
Mitchell, who has served on the board for Everett Public Schools since 2014, received 59.2%. Charles Mister, Jr. was second with third with 22.5% followed by Janelle Burke with 17.4%
The winner will get a six-year term.
Herald writers Joseph Thompson, Ben Watanabe and Andrea Brown contributed to this report.
Jerry Cornfield: firstname.lastname@example.org; @dospueblos
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