Mike Nelson, left, and Mike Rosen

Mike Nelson, left, and Mike Rosen

Rosen unseats incumbent Nelson in race for Edmonds mayor

Early returns favored Mike Rosen over Mike Nelson. Meanwhile in Arlington, Mayor Barb Tolbert trailed challenger Don Vanney.

EVERETT — After a razor-thin primary, the race for Edmonds mayor had a decisive winner on Election Day.

First-time candidate Mike Rosen, 69, led incumbent Mayor Mike Nelson, 48, in early returns Tuesday night, by a margin of 57.3% to 42.4%.

Nelson narrowly beat Rosen by 47 votes in a four-way primary. The other candidates, City Council member Diane Buckshnis and city planner Brad Shipley, had taken over 30% of the primary votes.

The mayor of Edmonds serves a four-year term, earning $156,124 annually.

Nelson was first elected mayor in 2019, following four years on the City Council.

“If you look at our city in the four years I’ve been mayor, our community is safer, it’s more welcoming, it’s more inclusive, and our quality of life has improved,” he said in a previous interview.

Rosen, the former managing principal at communication firm PRR, criticized Nelson for “not respecting” the input of his constituents.

“The city has lost trust, appropriately, because they aren’t engaging with the community in a meaningful way,” he said. “I hope to put the divisiveness aside and make good decisions based on good information and consensus building.”

Rosen supported hiring more police officers and funneling more money into repairing sidewalks and other pedestrian safety infrastructure.

Nelson’s campaign touted his accomplishments as mayor. His administration “quadrupled” funding for the city’s Pedestrian Safety Plan. He also expanded city parks and advocated for the restoration of the Edmonds Marsh.

Barb Tolbert, left, and Don Vanney

Barb Tolbert, left, and Don Vanney

The only other mayoral race Tuesday in Snohomish County was in Arlington — where the incumbent also appeared to be defeated.

Challenger Don Vanney, 63, led with 1,811 votes on Tuesday night, far above incumbent Mayor Barb Tolbert, 65, with 1,076 votes. It was a margin of 62.6% to 37.2%.

Tolbert’s campaign hinged on improving roads and offering more mixed housing.

While campaigning, Vanney pushed for more single-family housing. He wants residents to be able to own property. He also prioritized improving infrastructure to support its growing population.

Both Arlington candidates pushed for more police in the city. The mayor serves a four-year term earning $8,257 per month.

Tolbert had defeated Vanney by a razor-thin margin, 32 votes, in Arlington’s 2019 mayoral race.

Incumbent mayors in Lake Stevens, Marysville, Darrington and Sultan ran unopposed.

Ashley Nash: 425-339-3037; ashley.nash@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @ash_nash00.

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