Snohomish County County Council District 2 candidate Alex Lark stops to take a photo before dropping his ballot in box on the Snohomish County Campus Plaza on Tuesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Snohomish County County Council District 2 candidate Alex Lark stops to take a photo before dropping his ballot in box on the Snohomish County Campus Plaza on Tuesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Gregerson, Dunn lead Dems in crowded County Council race

Republican Anna Rohrbough hoped to carry strong primary-night momentum into November.

EVERETT — Mukilteo City Councilwoman Anna Rohrbough enjoyed a huge primary-night lead in the race for Snohomish County Council District 2 and could face a familiar hometown foe come November.

The lone Republican in the race took more than 36% of Tuesday night’s vote tally, though history suggests the heavy favorite will be the Democrat — whoever emerges.

Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson was tops among the seven Democrats in the field, with 12.54% of the initial count. That was only 11 votes more than Megan Dunn, a leader in the campaign to create district representation on the Everett City Council. Dunn’s 1,800 votes on primary night made up 12.46% of the total.

“Not knowing who I’ll be running against at this moment is interesting,” said Rohrbough, who was celebrating in Everett at the Buzz Inn Steakhouse on Broadway. “The results that come in in the next couple of days will show that we can win the general election. We had more than Republicans turn out for us. It’s not a partisan message and I’ll represent everybody.”

Gregerson celebrated at home with campaign volunteers and family members.

“We’ll have to see over the next few days,” she said. “I’m proud to have run alongside a lot of other Democrats who ran great campaigns. I do feel good about the get-out-the-vote efforts during the past week. I hope those will help me come out ahead.”

As of Tuesday, 16.6% of the issued ballots had been counted. County Auditor Carolyn Weikel projected turnout in the neighborhood of 25%, meaning that standings could change as thousands more ballots come through. Updated primary election numbers are expected around 5 p.m. Wednesday.

This year’s District 2 race attracted outsize interest because there’s no incumbent for the first time since 2007. Brian Sullivan, a Democrat, is stepping down after 12 years because of term limits.

From left: Anna Rohrbough, Jennifer Gregerson and Megan Dunn.

From left: Anna Rohrbough, Jennifer Gregerson and Megan Dunn.

The top two candidates, regardless of political party, will advance to the Nov. 5 general election. The victor this fall will earn a four-year term representing District 2, which spans the Everett, Mukilteo and Tulalip areas. Priorities in the job include preparing for the county’s expected population growth through land-use and transporation planning, as well as public safety, conservation and an array of public services.

County Council members are set to earn an annual salary of $126,571 starting next year.

The top four candidates in District 2 were all women, promising to bring more gender diversity to a legislative body where just one of the current five districts is represented by a woman.

In fourth place was Cecilia Wilson, who lives in Everett and manages constituent services for the county executive’s office. Wilson’s 11.1% of the initial count put her 211 votes behind Gregerson. Next was Tyler Verda, with 9.6%. He was followed by Alex Lark with 8%, Louis Harris with 7.6% and Sharita Burton with 2.1%.

In another County Council race, incumbent Stephanie Wright’s 78% among a trio of candidates made her a lock to advance to the general election. A Democrat who lives in Lynnwood, Wright has represented District 3 since 2010. She was first appointed to an unexpired term and has since been elected to two full terms.

District 3 covers the Edmonds, Lynnwood and Woodway areas.

In November, Wright is likely to face Willie Russell, who received 11.3% of the vote. Russell is a registered sex offender who lives in south Everett and frequently attends local government meetings to accuse public officials of corruption. He stated no party preference.

Meier Lowenthal of Edmonds, a Democrat, was in third place with 9.7% of the initial tally.

Also on the ballot was County Executive Dave Somers, a Democrat who is running unopposed for a second term.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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