EVERETT — The contenders in the Everett mayor’s race swapped positions Friday, with only a few hundred ballots left to count in the race.
Cassie Franklin was leading Judy Tuohy by 169 votes in the latest results from the Snohomish County auditor.
Franklin had 44.8 percent of the total to Tuohy’s 43.8 percent.
So far, 16,823 Everett ballots have been counted. About 600 remain, said Garth Fell, the county’s elections manager. That does not include 70 ballots that have not been approved for counting because of questions related to signatures.
Franklin’s lead is beyond the threshold that would require an automatic recount, “but things can still tighten up again,” Fell said.
The next ballot tallies are expected to be released Monday afternoon. Countywide, there are about 4,300 more ballots still to be counted.
County elections officials worked Friday counting ballots while other county offices were closed for Veterans Day.
The Everett mayor’s race has been one of the most-watched political contests in the region.
On election night, Tuohy led Franklin by 49 votes. That narrowed to just seven votes Wednesday. The gap widened to 19 in Tuohy’s favor Thursday. Friday’s results were the first time Franklin has led in the general election.
“We’re thrilled with the results today and look forward to getting the final numbers soon,” Franklin said on Twitter on Friday evening.
Tuohy and Franklin have a similar political outlook in many areas, but contrast in background and style.
Tuohy, 63, was elected the City Council in 2014. She works as executive director of the Schack Art Center.
Franklin, 46, was elected to the council in 2015. She recently stepped down as CEO of the nonprofit Cocoon House to focus on her campaign.
Everett business owner Gary Watts’ write-in mayoral campaign has likely had an effect on the results. Write-in candidates, as of Friday, garnered more than 11 percent of the counted votes. Based on those results, it is unlikely Watts’ votes will be tallied.
In the contest for Snohomish’s new strong mayor, John Kartak continued to lead Karen Guzak, 51.2 percent to 48.4 percent.
The pair are separated by 85 votes. Guzak has trailed since election night.
“We’re still going to play it out and we’ll just see,” she said Friday. “Whatever happens I’m going to be fine. I think I’ve made a real strong contribution to this community. I’m real proud of my service.”
Kartak, 52, was among those who pushed voters to adopt a strong-mayor form of government. He is a semi-retired contractor.
Guzak, 78, tried to preserve the current structure that she believed was working well. She has served on the City Council since in 2008, and was appointed as mayor two years later. She has two more years remaining on her council term.
Other races in Marysville, Mukilteo and elsewhere in the county were largely unchanged from election night.
An exception was David Chan, the South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue commissioner. He was behind in the first ballot count, but by Friday had opened up a 551 vote lead over his challenger, Michael Ellis. Chan now has 51.3 percent of the vote compared with 48.3 percent for Ellis.
Caitlin Tompkins contributed to this report.
See updates for all Snohomish County general election contests at www.heraldnet.com/news/ election-results-for- snohomish-county.