EDMONDS — Mike Cooper, one of Snohomish County’s most recognized Democrats, will close the book on his political career today, he says.
Cooper’s tenure as mayor of Edmonds will end this afternoon when the results of the Nov. 8 election are certified and Dave Earling takes the reins of power in the city.
“It has been an honor to serve as mayor of my hometown these past 16 months. I am proud of my accomplishments and each decision I made, always working to make our city a better place,” Cooper said in a statement following the election.
Earling, who captured nearly 65 percent of the vote in beating Cooper, will be sworn into office late this afternoon.
While the race for Edmonds mayor is over, three other contests in Snohomish County are headed for a recount.
In Monroe, City Council contender Jim Kamp leads former councilman Mitch Ruth by one vote, 1,575-1,574.
In Mukilteo, Councilwoman Emily Vanderwielen leads challenger Terry Preshaw by 19 votes while in Lynnwood, longtime Councilman Jim Smith is trailing challenger Van AuBuchon by 12 votes.
For Cooper, 59, today’s certification ends a political journey in which he held office at the city, county and state levels.
He served four terms as a state representative from 1997 to 2005. He lost a statewide race in 2004 for commissioner of public lands but enjoyed a successful return to local politics when he won a seat on the Snohomish County Council in 2007.
In 2010, he beat out six others to earn the appointment as the mayor of Edmonds and was trying to win election to a full four-year term.
In the campaign, he came under fire for decisions to fire the human resources director and to negotiate a buy-out agreement with his executive assistant. That agreement was later rejected by the City Council.
At the time of the election, Cooper spoke of possibly running for a seat in the state Legislature in 2012, depending on where Edmonds winds up in redistricting.
But Monday, he sounded ready for a break from elected office.
“I don’t have any plans to run for office in the immediate or near future,” he said. “After 31 years of public service, it is time to spend more time with my wife and grandchildren.”
Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Earling will be sworn in as Edmonds new mayor at 4 p.m. today in the Edmonds library, 650 Main St.