Top, left to right: Richard Emery, Scott Whelpley, Christopher Maddux, Riaz Khan. Bottom (L-R): Elisabeth Crawford, Peter Zieve, Joe Marine, Kristina Melnichenko.

Top, left to right: Richard Emery, Scott Whelpley, Christopher Maddux, Riaz Khan. Bottom (L-R): Elisabeth Crawford, Peter Zieve, Joe Marine, Kristina Melnichenko.

Former mayor first among leaders in Mukilteo council races

Peter Zieve, a controversial aerospace executive, was second in one race and is likely to advance.

MUKILTEO — The former mayor who lost to the current mayor got the most votes of any candidate in the race for four seats on Mukilteo City Council, based on early primary election results Tuesday.

Joe Marine likely will be back for Round 2 in November.

In what was one of the most crowded fields of city council races in Snohomish County, 12 candidates ran for four seats on the seven-member Mukilteo City Council, three in each position. The top two candidates in each field advance to the general election Nov. 5.

Marine, who served on council from 1998 to 2001 and lost his seat as mayor after two terms to Mayor Jennifer Gregerson in 2013, was one step closer to re-entering the council chambers in Position 7. He had 66 percent against data analyst Kristina Melnichenko, at 19 percent, and real estate agent Tina Over, third at 14 percent.

Incumbent councilmen Richard Emery and Scott Whelpley, who are often on opposing sides on council issues, stand a good chance of facing off in November for Position 4, based on early election results.

Emery had almost 50 percent Tuesday, followed by Whelpley with about 38 percent. Charles Eakins, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat four years ago, trailed with 11.5 percent.

Whelpley has been a vocal critic of Gregerson and pushed to hire an outside attorney to examine her handling of severance payments to former workers. Emery opposed the attorney’s hiring and differed with Whelpley on a measure to get rid of the city’s strong-mayor form of government

Gregerson is running for a seat on the Snohomish County Council. She was in second place, ahead of her closest rival by 11 votes on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Peter Zieve, the aerospace executive who’s been at the center of several community controversies, was second in the race for Position 6 with 33 percent. Boeing worker Elisabeth Crawford had a strong lead with 55 percent. Exekiel Aranez, a graduate student, lagged with 12 percent.

In Position 5, Riaz Khan, a Boeing engineer who lost a previous council race, had 35 percent, slightly behind forerunner Christopher Maddux, an IT manager at Electric Mirror, with 36 percent. James Yoo, who lost his second bid for a seat in a 2017 race, had 28 percent.

City councilmembers are paid $6,000 annually, with the president earning $6,500.

The council is known for its theatrics. Gregerson routinely has to remind the council about the rule against “insinuations or derogatory remarks” about her and other members.

Council members passed a vote of no confidence on the mayor. They also voted to put a proposal on the November ballot that could boot her out with a change in the form of government.

Councilwoman Anna Rohrbough proposed the no-confidence vote in response to what she described as Gregerson’s refusal to take responsibility for not informing the council of those payments and other spending decisions.

Rohrbough, whose term ends in 2021, also ran for the county council. The lone Republican in the eight-candidate field was winning Tuesday with 36 percent of the vote.

Mukilteo councilmembers Christine Cook and Steve Schmalz did not seek re-election. Terms for councilmembers Bob Champion and Sarah Kneller are up in 2021.

City of Mukilteo

City Council

Position 4

Richard C. Emery 1,577 49.97%
Charles Eakins 363 11.50%
Scott Whelpley 1,204 38.15%

Position 5

James Yoo 896 28.25%
Christopher Maddux 1,146 36.13%
Riaz Khan 1,116 35.18%

Position 6

Elisabeth Crawford 1,764 54.77%
Peter Zieve 1,060 32.91%
Exekiel Aranez 393 12.20%

Position 7

Joe Marine 2,121 66.32%
Kristina Melnichenko 614 19.20%
Tina Over 457 14.29%

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