By Jim Haley
Former Mukilteo Mayor Brian Sullivan will be the Democratic nominee to take on incumbent state Rep. Joe Marine for a coveted House seat in the 21st Legislative District.
The count of about 5,000 votes from within the district Friday sealed the fate of runner-up D.J. Wilson, a 26-year-old Edmonds Community College political science teacher.
Sullivan, 43, increased his election-night lead of 107 votes to 416 over Wilson in Friday’s counting. Besides hard work, he used a base of traditional Democratic forces, including labor, to defeat the younger opponent.
*Joe Marine (R) 8,765
*Brian Sullivan (D)6,760
D.J. Wilson (D) 6,344
Young S. Han (G)419
Michl Enquist (L)368
James R. Smith1,333
* Indicates moving on to the general election
Simple majority required to pass
Altogether, some 25,000 votes were counted Friday, and there’s still a race for Lynnwood mayor that’s too close to call. Only 11 votes separate Jim Smith and Don Gough for second and third in the counting, and only a handful more ballots remain to be counted on Thursday.
As it now stands, that race would be within the one-half of 1 percent margin, requiring an automatic recount.
"I went out and ordered more signs, and I’m ready to go out campaigning for the general (election)," McKinnon said.
Smith said he feels as though is life is on hold with the close tally.
"Right now we’re just in a holding pattern," he said. "With an election this close, you can drive yourself to insanity thinking about all the things you might have done."
Gough could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
Elsewhere, in a close Fire Protection District 25 race, Lisa Lamie will go on to the Nov. 6 general election. However, the apparent second-place finisher, Larry Bell, also is likely to move to the November ballot. He’s only five votes ahead of the third contestant, Gail Moffett, but there’s only an outside chance remaining ballots would make a difference because of the low vote total in the race.
Only the top two vote recipients will continue.
In another close issue, a tax increase for the Stanwood area Fire Protection District 14 passed by 21 votes. The issue took a simple majority.
The 21st District election held the attention of the state because of the Republican-Democratic logjam in the House. The stalemate prevented important legislation from getting to a floor vote, including vital transportation legislation.
Marine was appointed to the post late last year to fill an unexpired term when Renee Radcliff stepped down. The Democrats eyed the seat as one that could be captured, and fielded two good candidates. The race is only one of two legislative seats up for grabs in the state
"I feel like a winner," Sullivan said. "I knocked on 12,000 doors, and they out-spent me two-to-one. Mukilteo has been loyal to me."
Wilson said he’s going back to teaching. He said he was impressed that the Democrats totaled far more votes than Marine.
Politically, what’s next?
"The first thing is to make sure Brian Sullivan gets elected," Wilson said.
Marine said it didn’t matter to him who won the Democratic nomination.
"I’m going to continue to stay on track. I’m proud of the work we’ve done and I feel very confident I’m going to come out on top," he said.
A lot of outside money is expected to pour into the race as the major parties jockey for control of the House.
Janice Podsada contributed to this report.
You can call Herald Writer Jim Haley at 425-339-3447 or send e-mail to