Tallies close in some primary races

A day after the Snohomish County primary, several races remain too close to call.

In some tight races, such as the one to determine a challenger to Monroe Mayor Donnetta Walser, fewer than a handful of ballots separate the candidates.

The top two finishers in each race advance to the general election in November. Another count is planned for 5 p.m. today.

The teeter-totter continued to tip back and forth in Monroe’s mayoral primary on Wednesday, as former City Councilman Robert Zimmerman pulled ahead of City Councilman Mitch Ruth for the second and final spot in the general election.

At day’s end, the men were separated by four votes, with Zimmerman ahead 508 to 504.

The latest numbers found Ruth and Zimmerman each claiming about 31 percent of the vote, while Mayor Donnetta Walser earned 37 percent.

Walser has won 604 votes so far, which both of her challengers said is a less-than-heartening amount for an incumbent. She retains a virtual lock on being a candidate on Nov. 3 general election ballot.

Her rival will be decided by votes yet to be counted.

“I do have a sense that some votes are still lingering out there,” Zimmerman said.

In the Monroe City Council race, R. Todd Fredrickson and Patsy Cudaback held their leads in the primary race for Position 2.

Fredrickson now claims 542 votes, or 35 percent of the vote, despite the fact he did not stage an active campaign after he was sidelined by an unexpected medical condition.

Cudaback, director of the Monroe YMCA, now has 400 votes, or 26 percent of the total.

Their nearest rival is Bridgette Tuttle, who has 308 votes, or 20 percent of the total.

Other races around the county are just as tight.

In the race for Granite Falls mayor, restaurateur Haroon Saleem maintained a narrow lead over incumbent Lyle Romack.

Saleem had 194 votes, or 36 percent; Romack had 182, 34 percent; and Paul Lutz, a quality control supervisor for Boeing, had 155, 29 percent.

In Edmonds, retired banker Diane Buckshnis continued to hold a slim lead over incumbent Councilman Strom Peterson for position 2, with 3,521 votes, 46 percent, to 3,324, or 44 percent. Five-time candidate Alvin Rutledge was a distant third.

All three of the candidates competed against each other in January when they sought appointment to fill the vacancy left by Deanna Dawson, who moved out of state.

Peterson, 41, owner of the Resident Cheesemonger, won the appointment.

Only 118 votes separated the three candidates in the race for Edmonds City Council position 3, a tightening of the gap from Tuesday night.

Challenger Adrienne Fraley-Monillas led with 2,563 votes, or 34 percent, followed by incumbent Ron Wambolt at 2,480, 33 percent, and former councilwoman Lora Petso with 2,445, 32 percent.

Wambolt has historically opposed taller buildings in downtown Edmonds but he received a campaign contribution from a company seeking to build two 75-foot tall condo towers near the city’s waterfront.

Fraley-Monillas and Petso both say they oppose taller buildings in the downtown or waterfront neighborhoods.

Christopher Wright and Susan Forbes maintained their lead in the Gold Bar City Council primary race, although Noel Frederick remains a close third.

Wright has won 55 percent of the vote, or 107 votes.

Forbes has 24 percent of the vote, or 47 votes.

Frederick continues to nip at Forbes’ heels, claiming 19 percent of the vote, or 37 votes.

In the Everett School Board race, district watchdog Jessica Olson led incumbent Karen Madsen. As of Wednesday’s count, Olson had 4,567 votes, or 42 percent; Madsen 4,389, 40 percent, and retired Northshore School District teacher Annie Lyman 1,808, or about 16 percent.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

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