GOLD BAR — Voters chose the mayor with more life experience this year in Gold Bar, electing retired electrician Steven Yarbrough, 60, over his youthful colleague Jordan Sears, 22.
Election results Friday showed Yarbrough pulling ahead, 252 to 173 votes. He said it was likely the four-decade gap between him and Sears that made the difference. updated 11/6
Serving on the City Council, the duo have the same policy priorities: get the town out of debt, revamp parks and address traffic issues.
“Frankly, I’m humbled,” Yarbrough said of his victory.
In 2019, Sears was likely the youngest city councilmember elected in Washington state history. After an early start in politics, he now chairs the 39th Legislative District Democratic Organization and garnered the endorsement of Democratic state Sen. Marko Liias.
“I don’t feel a big level of excitement. It’s not an ego trip for me,” Yarbrough said. “I know there’s probably people out there that can do a better job than me, but they’re not in the stage in their life when they’re ready to assume public office yet.”
Sears offered his congratulations to Yarbrough on Thursday.
“I’m a little disappointed,” Sears told The Daily Herald. “But I’m very optimistic for the future of the City of Gold Bar.”
Sears will stay on the City Council. If Yarbrough had lost his bid for mayor, he would have been out of city government.
Sears suspects some voters cast their ballot for Yarbrough so “the dream team” could continue serving the city.
Yarbrough said he was disappointed only 32.2% of voters in Gold Bar returned their ballots. Across Snohomish County, turnout ranged from 61.6% in Index to just under 22% in the Everett City Council’s District 4.
“I wish more people would feel compelled to get out there and vote,” he said.
Sears, on the other hand, was happy with the level of participation.
In the off-year election, 452 ballots were counted in Gold Bar as of Friday.
“So I’m super proud of that,” he said.
Plus, the council will welcome a new face this year: Jeffrey Seymour, who ran unopposed. It’s a shift from just a few years ago, Sears said, when Gold Bar had trouble getting people to run for office at all.
For now, Sears plans to go back to school for his bachelor’s degree and eventually pursue a career in public policy. If Yarbrough runs for re-election in four years, Sears said, “he’ll have my support.”
Claudia Yaw: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @yawclaudia.