Updated with more candidate reactions
Edmonds mayoral candidate Dave Earling mounted a solid lead over incumbent Mayor Mike Cooper in the primary election Tuesday night. Earling received 3,611 votes, or 54 percent to Cooper’s 2,594, or 38 percent in votes tallied on Tuesday. Former Edmonds City Councilmember Roger Hertrich came in third with 520 votes, or 8 percent. Both Earling and Cooper advance to the Nov. 8 general election.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the results,” Earling said. “There’s a clear understanding that there’s a need for new leadership in town. We think that people want to have the budget addressed and cleaned up, and we have to find a way to generate new long-term revenue sources.”
“The primary results, at least,” indicate a mandate for change, the former Edmonds City Council president said.
Cooper said that while he was “a little disappointed” about the size of Earling’s lead, it was to be expected given the amount of money his challenger spent on the race and “the fact that he went negative.”
“He spent $30,000 and I hardly spent anything while I was going about the business of running the city,” Cooper said. Now the real work begins, the former Snohomish County Councilmember said, noting that his campaign decided from the beginning it would save its money for the general election.
“I’ve faced adversity before, as a firefighter and as a cancer survivor,” said Cooper, who was appointed mayor following the resignation of Gary Haakenson in June 2010. “If he thinks he’s knocked me out, he’s wrong.”
In the race for City Council Position 4, challenger Bob Wilcox was edging incumbent Diane Buckshnis, receiving 3,020 votes, or 46 percent, to Buckshnis’ 2,879 or 44 percent. Newcomer Tad Helke came in third with 525 votes, or 8 percent. Wilcox and Buckshnis also will face off in November.
The vote tally will change as more ballots are counted on Wednesday.
Buckshnis said that she knew the City Council vote would be close, given Wilcox’s long history in the community. (He recently retired as president of Edmonds-based Wilcox Construction, which was founded by his late father.) “It’s actually quite even,” she said, noting that only 141 votes separated them following Tuesday’s results. “I’m going to work hard and prove to people that I’m worthy of their vote,” said Buckshnis, a former banker and environmentalist who was appointed in January 2010 to fill the seat of the late Councilmember Peggy Pritchard Olson.
Wilcox wasn’t immediately reachable by phone but he did send out a tweet stating, “We are very excited about the preliminary results from the election tonight.”
Political newcomer Tad Helke was philosophical about his third-place finish, realizing that he lacked name recognition to compete against his better-known opponents. But he says he plans to become more involved in city government “and we’ll see what happens in two years,” he said.
In the two positions appearing on the primary ballot for Edmonds School Board, incumbent Gary Noble was easily outpolling all challengers for District 3, receiving 10,544 votes or 72 percent compared to his closest challenger, Boe Lindgren, with 2,270 votes or 16 percent. College student and Edmonds-Woodway High School grad Nathan Yaffee was in third place with 1,639 votes, or 11 percent. In District 5, an open seat because the incumbent isn’t running for re-election, Mark Dillan was leading a group of four candidates, receiving 4,500 votes or 31 percent, followed by Diana White with 3,959 votes or 27 percent. Long-time school district watchdog Mark Zandberg reeived 3,301 votes or 23 percent, followed by Linda Hood with 2,640 votes or 18 percent.
“I’m very appreciative of the support,” said Dillan. “My goal was to make it to the general election so that I’d really have time to go out to schools and talk to parents.”
In the race for Olynpic View Water Commissioner Position 3, Barb Kathol received 608 votes or 35 percent, Mike Harrigan came in second with 585 votes or 34 percent and Ronald Cantu received 531 votes for 30 percent.