EVERETT — The Everett mayor’s race remained tight Thursday, with the candidates separated by just 19 votes.
Judy Tuohy kept her edge over Cassie Franklin in the latest results from the Snohomish County auditor. Tuohy had 44.5 percent of the total to Franklin’s 44.4 percent. As things stand, the race is within hand-recount range.
John Kartak widened his lead in the Snohomish mayor’s race. Meanwhile, south county fire Commissioner David Chan opened a lead, after trailing slightly a day earlier.
Other political changes appear to be on the horizon for the Marysville City Council and the Marysville School Board.
County elections officials expected to work Friday, when other county offices are closed for Veterans Day, and release an updated ballot tally early in the evening.
The Everett mayor’s race has been one of the most-watched — and closest — political contests in the region.
On election night, Tuohy led Franklin by 49 votes. That narrowed to just seven votes Wednesday.
At least 4,900 more votes remain to be counted in that race, elections manager Garth Fell said. That figure doesn’t include ballots from military and overseas voters, or others with uncorrected signature issues.
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 a substantial impact on the results. Write-in candidates, as of Thursday, garnered more than 11 percent of counted votes. Based on early election results, it is unlikely Watts’ votes will be tallied.
The job became open after longtime Mayor Ray Stephanson opted to retire.
County-wide, 110,554 ballots have been counted. About 36,000 remain.
In the contest for Snohomish’s new strong mayor, Kartak increased his lead over Karen Guzak, 51.7 percent to 48 percent.
The difference is 86 votes, more than double the separation from a day earlier. She’s trailed since election night.
“I’m going to wait and see for another day before I concede,” Guzak said. “I’m also looking forward to my last two years of being an effective council member.”
At least 885 more ballots are still to be counted in the contest.
The race often took negative, personal turns. But Guzak said she felt fine with the campaign she ran and thanked her supporters.
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 was first elected to the City Council in 2008, and appointed as mayor two years later. She served in that capacity for seven years until she stepped down in February.
An elected mayor is expected to be sworn in as soon as the votes are certified.
In Marysville City Council races, two incumbents appear to be on the way out.
Mark James, a local businessman, was leading with about 58 percent of the vote against Donna Wright, who has been on the council for 24 years.
Another candidate, Tom King, was winning 56.4 percent of the vote in the contest with incumbent Jeff Seibert, who has been on the council for 16 years.
On the Marysville School Board, challenger Vanessa Edwards was beating incumbent Bruce Larson 50.6 percent to 48.9 percent, with an advantage of 148 votes.
Chan, the South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue commissioner, switched places with challenger Michael Ellis, who led by three votes on Wednesday. A day later, Chan had opened a 215-vote lead, giving him 50.6 percent of counted ballots to Ellis’ 49.1 percent. At least 2,350 votes remain to be tallied in that contest.
See updates for all Snohomish County general election contests at www.heraldnet.com/news/election-results-for-snohomish-county.