Rob Toyer (left) and Brian Sullivan                                Rob Toyer (left) and Brian Sullivan

Rob Toyer (left) and Brian Sullivan

Leads widen in close races with many ballots left to count

Officials say turnout could reach 41 percent. They still have close to half the ballots to tally.

EVERETT — A tight race for Snohomish County treasurer eased slightly Wednesday while the mayor of Arlington gained a little breathing room in her re-election bid following a second round of ballot counting.

Rob Toyer saw his lead on Brian Sullivan grow to 1,064 votes in their duel for the treasurer’s job. Toyer, a Marysville councilman, led Sullivan, a Snohomish County councilman, by 715 votes in the initial election results.

“It is still a tight margin. The increase wasn’t large enough for a trend,” said Sullivan, a former state lawmaker and Mukilteo mayor. “Tomorrow the outcome might become clearer.”

In Arlington, Mayor Barb Tolbert has a 34-vote advantage on challenger Don Vanney, Jr., up from the 27 votes which separated them Tuesday night.

“Me and my team are cautiously optimistic tonight,” she said Wednesday. “We’re proud of the progress we’ve had in Arlington and hope that the voters recognize that.”

As of Wednesday, about 95,000 ballots had been counted. Snohomish County election officials estimate there are roughly 95,000 more to count. The next updated vote count will be issued Thursday afternoon.

In a closely watched battle for Sullivan’s council seat, Democrat Megan Dunn leads Republican Anna Rohrbough, 52.3 to 47.5%. For Dunn, that’s an improvement from Tuesday when she had 51.6%. At stake is a four-year term serving District 2, which covers the Everett, Mukilteo and Tulalip areas.

In Lake Stevens, there was a change of leaders in a race for a city council position.

Rauchel McDaniel, who is trying to keep her seat, fell eight votes behind challenger Anji Jorstad. McDaniel led by 17 votes election night.

And Shawn Frederick leads Steve Ewing for an open seat, 51.5% to 48%. On Tuesday, Frederick had 50.6% and only a 45-vote advantage.

In Mukilteo, Riaz Khan held a 24-vote lead on Christopher Maddux in their contest for the Position 5 seat on the city council. That’s up from the 12-vote advantage Khan held on election night.

David Simpson and Bruce Fingarson are in a tight contest for a seat on the Port of Everett commission. Simpson, with 50.5%, had a 173-vote lead on Fingarson Wednesday, down from the 228-vote edge in the initial election tally.

Meanwhile, Referendum 88, which seeks to bring back the use of affirmative action by the state in hiring, college admissions and contracting, was being rejected by 51.4 % of voters statewide. That’s a slightly smaller percentage than Tuesday. However, of the roughly 500,000 ballots left to count statewide, an estimated 277,000 are in King County where nearly 61% are backing it.

Finally, with passage of Initiative 976 clear, opponents are heading to court to keep it from taking effect.

The ballot measure conceived by Tim Eyman caps the cost of most car tab fees at $30 and aims to erase the motor vehicle excise tax collected by Sound Transit. It had 55.2% support statewide Wednesday. In Snohomish County, it is passing with 60.8%.

On Wednesday, in separate announcements, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine announced plans to sue to block its implementation.

In the meantime, the Sound Transit Board of Directors will discuss financial and legal ramifications at its Nov. 21 meeting.

“The Board will consider Sound Transit’s obligations to taxpayers who want their motor vehicle excise taxes reduced, as well as how to realize voters’ earlier direction to dramatically expand high capacity transit throughout the Puget Sound region,” chairman John Marchione said in a statement.

Election results are due to be certified Nov. 26.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.

For the latest countywide results, visit www.heraldnet.com/news/2019-general-election-results-for-snohomish-county.

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