Molly Barnes (top left), Melissa Duque (center left) and Connie Allison (bottom left) won their races. Candidates facing recounts include Erick Cooke and Brian Holtzclaw (top center), Rob Johnson and Dani Gaumond (top right), Judy Williams and Tim Schmitt (bottom center) and Al Schreiber and Gary Forslund (bottom right).

Molly Barnes (top left), Melissa Duque (center left) and Connie Allison (bottom left) won their races. Candidates facing recounts include Erick Cooke and Brian Holtzclaw (top center), Rob Johnson and Dani Gaumond (top right), Judy Williams and Tim Schmitt (bottom center) and Al Schreiber and Gary Forslund (bottom right).

Recounts loom in Mill Creek, Stanwood after Monday tabulation

A battle for a seat on the Alderwood water commission is so close the county may need to recount every ballot by hand.

EVERETT — Several recounts loom in Snohomish County after another trickle of ballots were tallied Monday.

One involves the current mayor of Mill Creek, with three others occurring in Stanwood city and school board contests.

In Mill Creek, City Councilman Brian Holtzclaw clung to a 16-vote advantage over challenger Eric Cooke in a contest that saw the lead oscillate between them this past week. The margin between them is 0.33%, which is in the range for an automatic machine recount.

Holtzclaw, who also serves as mayor, led by 18 on election night, then fell behind by seven the next day, only to move back in front by nine votes on Nov. 4.

Under state law, an automatic hand recount of ballots is triggered when the final margin between two candidates is less than 0.25%, and a machine recount is mandated for margins between 0.25% and 0.5%. Candidates also can request recounts regardless of the margin. But they must shoulder the cost. If the outcome changes, they get their money back.

Which contests require recounts will be determined when results of the election are certified by the Snohomish County canvassing board on Nov. 23.

Meanwhile, a second Mill Creek City Council contest is close but the outcome should avoid a recount.

Melissa Duque, who trailed Councilman Adam Morgan by 82 votes on Election Night, saw her fortunes change in later ballot counts. On Monday, she held a 66-vote lead, good enough for a win by nearly 1.4%.

Morgan was appointed last fall to succeed Mike Todd, and the winner will serve the last two years of Todd’s term. Duque beat Morgan by 21 votes in the August primary.

In Stanwood, machine recounts will likely be needed in two City Council races and one Stanwood-Camano School District contest.

Dani Gaumond led Councilman Rob Johnson by six votes, 872 to 866, a difference of 0.35%. Johnson, a former state representative, is pursuing a third term on the council.

And Tim Schmitt is in front of first-term Councilwoman Judy Williams by six votes, 824 to 818, also a difference of 0.35%.

In the School Board matchup, Gary Forslund clung to a 22-vote lead on Al Schreiber, a two-term incumbent. The margin between them is 0.40%.

This election’s closest contest, in terms of percentage, is a duel for a seat on the Alderwood Water and Wastewater District Commission.

Patrick Leonetti (left) and Donna Cross.

Patrick Leonetti (left) and Donna Cross.

Donna Cross, a commissioner since 1992, is hanging on with a 58-vote lead, 19,440 to 19,382. In percentage, the difference is 0.15%, small enough to trigger a recount by hand of the 39,000 ballots cast in the race.

In Monroe, Molly Barnes’ quest for a seat on the Monroe School Board didn’t look promising election night as she trailed Mary Reule by 171 votes.

Two nights later, Barnes found herself ahead of the retired teacher by six votes. On Monday, Barnes had a 175-vote advantage and a victory.

“It was an interesting week,” said Barnes, who homeschools her three boys through the Sky Valley Education Center. “I am very excited to get to work for our community … and hopefully help bring our community together.”

As of Monday, countywide turnout was 35.7% with participation topping 50% in Snohomish and Mukilteo, where spirited battles for mayor and city council seats brought out voters. Index claimed the highest turnout at roughly 62%.

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

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