Top (from left): Brian Holtzclaw, Eric Cooke, Judy Williams, Tim Schmitt. Bottom (from left): Patrick Leonetti, Donna Cross, Dani Gaumond, Rob Johnson.

Top (from left): Brian Holtzclaw, Eric Cooke, Judy Williams, Tim Schmitt. Bottom (from left): Patrick Leonetti, Donna Cross, Dani Gaumond, Rob Johnson.

Recounts in Mill Creek, Stanwood as 2021 election is certified

Another tally is required to settle races for seats on city councils, as well as the Alderwood water district.

EVERETT — The 2021 general election reached the finish line Tuesday.

Well, not quite for everyone.

The Snohomish County Canvassing Board certified the results of the Nov. 2 election in which voters chose new mayors in Snohomish, Mukilteo and Lynnwood, re-elected three Snohomish County Council members, and filled a bunch of seats on city councils, school boards, and port, fire and hospital commissions.

Then the elections panel launched the process for recounting ballots by machine in contests for seats on the Mill Creek and Stanwood city councils, and by hand for a position on the Alderwood Water and Wastewater District Commission. Final results are expected to be posted at 3 p.m. Dec. 10.

In Mill Creek, City Councilman Brian Holtzclaw holds a 15-vote advantage over Eric Cooke. The margin between them is 0.31%, which is in the range for an automatic machine recount.

Brian Holtzclaw (left) and Eric Cooke.

Brian Holtzclaw (left) and Eric Cooke.

Holtzclaw, who also serves as mayor, led by 18 on election night then fell behind by seven the next day, then moved back in front Nov. 4. He’s led after every release of updated results since.

“I would rather be ahead going into the recount than behind,” Holtzclaw said Tuesday. “It emphasizes how every vote counts. If I am fortunate to win the election, I will go back for four more years and give it my all, as I have the last eight years.”

Cooke, a first-time candidate, acknowledged it will be hard to find 15 votes.

“I don’t think I am going to come back. But it’s been great,” he said. “Ultimately I am thankful for the voters that considered me. They didn’t have to and they did.”

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%.

Judy Williams (left) and Tim Schmitt.

Judy Williams (left) and Tim Schmitt.

In Stanwood, a machine recount will determine if Tim Schmitt unseated incumbent City Councilwoman Judy Williams.

Schmitt is the unofficial winner by five votes, 826 to 821. He finished with 47.09% to Williams’ 46.81%, a margin of 0.28% that just exceeds the demand for a hand recount.

“I’m excited by the results so far. I’m not taking anything for granted,” said Schmitt, a first-time candidate who’s been an outspoken citizen activist. “I’ve been patient the last four years, so I can be patient for another three weeks.”

Dani Gaumond (left) and Rob Johnson.

Dani Gaumond (left) and Rob Johnson.

In a second Stanwood council contest, Dani Gaumond beat Councilman Rob Johnson by 14 votes, 880-866, a margin of 0.80% — not close enough for a recount.

“I look forward to having a healthy working relationship with each City Council member,” Gaumond wrote in an email. “In my first month I would like to introduce myself to as many people in the community and local businesses. I’d like to hear their concerns and what direction that they want to see our city go in.”

Johnson, who was seeking a third term, will continue serving on the North County Regional Fire Commission.

Meanwhile, the Stanwood City Council will soon need to fill a vacancy after Councilman Sid Roberts was elected mayor in this month’s election. He was sworn into office Tuesday.

Johnson thinks either Schmitt or Williams should get the nod. He informed fellow council members of that at a meeting Monday.

The reason, he explained, is that there were 107 write-in votes — roughly 10 times the total of other council races — even though no one campaigned as a write-in candidate. He and Schmitt said one of the city’s conservative influencers mailed out a voter guide urging write-ins for someone other than the candidates.

“It was so tight and so muddied by the write-ins, whoever loses deserves the appointment,” Johnson said. “I think it’s a matter of fairness.”

Schmitt said he’ll apply if he doesn’t win. Williams could not be reached for comment.

A duel for a seat on the Alderwood Water and Wastewater District Commission wound up the election’s closest by percentage.

Donna Cross, a commissioner since 1992, leads Patrick Leonetti by 59 votes, 19,538 to 19,479. The difference is 0.15%, triggering another tally of ballots by hand.

Patrick Leonetti (left) and Donna Cross.

Patrick Leonetti (left) and Donna Cross.

Meanwhile, the canvassing board did not act on a request from Doug Roulstone, the chairman of the Snohomish County Republican Party, to not certify Sherry Weersing as the winner of the District 3 seat on the Marysville School District Board of Directors. The canvassing board is comprised of county Auditor Garth Fell; Jason Cummings, the county’s chief civil deputy prosecutor; and County Councilmember Megan Dunn.

Weersing was the only name on the ballot. Keira Atchley, who was appointed to the seat earlier this year, ran as an official write-in. Weersing collected 80.3% of the vote. Write-ins totaled 19.7%.

Earlier this year, Weersing halted her campaign amid health issues that she said she thought could prevent her from serving. She said she informed the state Public Disclosure Commission. Roulstone, in his written request, said Weersing emailed Atchley in August to say she had withdrawn from the race.

But Weersing said Monday that her health improved and she determined she could carry out the duties. She attended a conference of district directors last week, where she met those with whom she’ll be serving.

Weersing, 70, is a retired special education teacher. She said she worked in the Edmonds School District and plans to bring a student-centered approach to her decision-making.

“I will do what I think is the right thing to do for the kids,” she said. “It is not about the adults. It is about what the kids need.”

Overall, 182,331 voters participated, a turnout of 35.9% of the Snohomish County electorate. That’s 4% higher than in 2017, the last odd-year general election following a presidential election. The average turnout in the county is 41% since 2009.

“When I look at it, I think we have a bit more engaged electorate,” said the auditor, Fell, citing carryover energy from last year’s presidential campaign combined with a surge of local media coverage in the three weeks preceding this election.

Turnout reached nearly 53% in Mukilteo, where incumbent Mayor Jennifer Gregerson lost to Joe Marine, the man she unseated from the job eight years ago.

And it topped 51% in Snohomish, where City Council president Linda Redmon beat incumbent Mayor John Kartak in a high-profile contest.

A majority of ballots, 106,072, were returned via designated drop box, with 79,385 returned by mail. Of the total, 1,556 did not get tallied because they arrived too late, and another 1,242 had a signature that did not match the one on file for the voter. There were 144 ballots that had no signature.

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

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.
Mill Creek house fire displaces 3

Firefighters responded to a house fire in the 14100 block of 30th Avenue SE early Monday morning. No one was injured.

Alyvia Nguyen, 8, climbs on leaf shaped steps at the new Corcoran Memorial Park playground on Friday, July 12, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New Bothell-area park ‘could not be a more fitting dedication’

In 2019, Jim Corcoran donated $1.5 million worth of land to become a public park. He died before he could see it completed.

Cars line up for the Edmonds ferry in Edmonds, Washington on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Ferry line jumpers face a $145 fine — and scorn from other drivers

Law enforcement is on the lookout for line cutters. It’s a “hot-button issue that can lead to something worse.”

Mother charged in Stanwood toddler’s fentanyl overdose death

Morgan Bassett woke up in January 2022 and found her daughter wasn’t breathing. Last week, she was charged with manslaughter.

FILE — Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) arrives to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 23, 2024. Former President Donald Trump has chosen Vance to be his running mate, wagering that the young senator will bring fresh energy to the Republican ticket and ensure that the movement Trump began nearly a decade ago can live on after him. (Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times)
J.D. Vance is Trump’s pick for vice president

Vance, once a Trump critic, is an ambitious ideologue who relishes the spotlight. His selection comes just days after Trump survived an assassination attempt.

Former president Donald Trump is seen with a bloody ear as he is assisted off the stage during a campaign rally in Butler, Pa., on Saturday. MUST CREDIT: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post
Pops, screams and then blood: On the scene at the Trump rally shooting

Isaac Arnsdorf, Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post BUTLER, Pa. - The… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.