Elections update: Mayor leading by slim margin, city council to see change, voters backing fireworks ban

  • Friday, November 8, 2019 10:49am
  • News

A mayor’s race too close to call, an incumbent city councilmember struggling against a newcomer and a school board member likely to retain his seat are the storyline among Arlington results.

Incumbent Mayor Barb Tolbert extended her lead Thursday to 55 votes to 1,345 over challenger Don Vanney Jr.’s total of 1,290. Election Night returns gave Tolbert a slim 27-vote margin that went to 34 a day later. Her lead is just 50.9 percent to 48.8 percent.

Tolbert has faced tight polling numbers before, so she’s letting the tallies do the talking.

Regardless of the outcome, she said: “I’m proud of what I have been able to establish at the city of Arlington. We have a fantastic staff.”

Vanney agreed Thursday that while the race is still too neck and neck, he added that the difference in votes “is a pretty good run against an incumbent. There are still a lot of votes that could come through.”

In the only City Council race, incumbent Sue Weiss is losing soundly to Michele Blythe 1,357 to 1,057, or 55.8 percent to 43.4 percent.

In an email, Weiss thanked those who supported her the four years she served on the council. She saved harsh words for the mayor.

She wrote: “I am most disappointed for the citizens of Arlington that will have to contend with more of the same for the next four years from the most corrupt mayor I have ever known! My hope for Arlington is that in a couple years, more people will take a stand and run for City Council.”

Blythe has. The banker-turned-political newcomer was ecstatic to see that her hard work campaigning paid off. She’s been doing her homework on local issues and is excited to take her seat.

“You always wonder if you did enough and knocked on enough doors,” she said. “Running for office is very different than I thought it would be.”

Blythe plans to be a positive and transparent elected official focused on partnership, and unafraid to ask questions.

For school board, Sue’s husband, director Jim Weiss, was doing better against newcomer Sheri Kelly, ahead 2,350 to 2,189 votes, or 51 percent to 48 percent.

An advisory vote proposition to ban consumer fireworks in Arlington city limits is passing with 1,520 “yes” votes to 1,213 “no” votes, or 57 percent to 44 percent. The City Council would still need to adopt the ban on June 15, the last meeting before July 4 next year, and by state law it would not become effective until June 2021.

A similar non-binding ballot measure to ban fireworks in unincorporated Snohomish County is trending with yet higher numbers supporting a ban, with 70,240 “yes” votes and 46,475 “no” votes among 116,715 ballots counted.

North County Fire & EMS’s fire levy “lid lift” is being narrowly rejected, with 2,206 “no” votes to 2,139 in favor, 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent.

In the race for the fire district’s Position 1, Greg Oakes is leading Jeff Sinker 2,609 to 1,231, 67 percent to 32 percent.

In Lakewood, Steven Larson is whipping Jeremy Toponce for school board in the only race in that district. Larson had 1,390 votes to 738 for Toponce, or 65 percent to 34 percent.

Meanwhile, an incumbent Marysville school board member and a former Marysville City Council member were still behind in election returns Thursday night.

Paul Galovin was leading Mariana Maksimos 4,865 to 4,193, or 53 percent to 46 percent, in the school board race, and Kelly Richards was ahead of Jeff Seibert 4,140 to 3,869, or 51 percent to 48 percent, in the council race.

Incumbents were leading easily in the other Marysville races.

For mayor, Jon Nehring was way ahead of Michael Patrick 6,480 to 1,952, or 76 percent to 23 percent.

Likewise, Councilman Stephen Muller was way out in front of Katherine Iverson 5,435 to 2,491, or 68 percent to 31 percent.

And for school board, incumbent Tom Albright had a big lead over Halleh Stickels 6,016 to 3,115 or 65 percent to 34 percent.

The overall turnout countywide so far is 25 percent, with 121,723 ballots cast out of 475,871 registered voters.

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