Two Edmonds Port Commissioners leading challengers, one trailing in early returns

They gathered on opposite sides of town, and in some cases with opposite outcomes, but both challengers and incumbents for three Edmonds Port Commission races expressed satisfaction following initial election results Tuesday night.

Even though Susan Paine was trailing incumbent Steve Johnston for the Position 5 Port Commission seat, she said that she believed her candidacy — along with that of two other women challenging port incumbents — put the spotlight on the port’s role in the community.

“Whatever the outcome, the race has changed how our community will look at the port and how their actions have an impact on our waterfront and the Edmonds Marsh,” Paine said in a Facebook post Tuesday night after leaving a gathering of supporters at American Brewing Company.

A former Edmonds School Board member, Paine joined Microsoft manager Angela Harris and former Edmonds City Councilmember Lora Petso as a slate in challenging three sitting commissioners — two of them long-time incumbents.

The three challengers made protecting the Edmonds Marsh — which borders the port-owned Harbor Square Business Complex — a centerpiece of their campaign. Port incumbents, meanwhile, stressed their long-term efforts to provide sound financial management of the port and protect port taxpayers.

With 17 percent of the ballots counted, Paine was behind Johnston — who was appointed last year to fill a vacant commission seat — by 419 votes, earning 1,580 votes or 44 percent to Johnston’s 1,999 votes or 56 percent. Petso trailed incumbent Bruce Faires by 375 votes, garnering 45 percent to 55 percent for her opponent.

Political newcomer Harris had a 49-vote lead over Port Commission incumbent Fred Gouge, earning 51 percent of the early vote to Gouge’s 49 percent.

Across town, Gouge gathered with other incumbent port commissioners and their supporters at Portofino Restaurant and expressed confidence that he would make up the gap vs. Harris as more ballots are counted.

All three commissioners shared a similar message in remarks before the Portofino crowd: that early returns indicate a majority of port voters recognize the incumbents’ role in successfully managing the port for the community’s benefit.

Snohomish County Elections will release the next round of results at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8. You can see the complete list of current Snohomish County returns here.

Port Of Edmonds Commissioner District 1
28/28 100.00%
Under Votes 284
Over Votes 0
Vote Count Percent
Angela Harris 1,827 51.06%
Fred Gouge 1,748 48.85%
Write-In (if any) 3 0.08%
Total 3,578 100.00%

Port Of Edmonds Commissioner District 3
28/28 100.00%
Under Votes 251
Over Votes 2
Vote Count Percent
Lora Petso 1,615 44.75%
Bruce Faires 1,990 55.14%
Write-In (if any) 4 0.11%
Total 3,609 100.00%

Port Of Edmonds Commissioner-At-Large Position 5
28/28 100.00%
Under Votes 279
Over Votes 0
Vote Count Percent
Susan Paine 1,580 44.10%
Steven A. Johnston 1,999 55.79%
Write-In (if any) 4 0.11%
Total 3,583 100.00%




  1. In my opinion, not a whole lot unlike the other Washington ……..We do not have a DEMOCRACY if we are not sure we can trust our votes are counted and count. As we now know, many things can go on behind the scenes to tip the scales of Justice in regards to voting
    Soooooooooooooo, I just hate it when I’m sitting quietly in a coffee shop, just outside of Edmonds, Washington, minding my own business….and I suppose they had no idea, WHO was sitting next to them ) ……and who wrote down these quotes (just in case this was important…seemed fishy…sounded like voting stuff, someone correct me if I’m wrong) , “”skew the information,” that’s what we did last time”……”Here’s the code”…….”We have the Mayor”……”We’ve got the Mayor”…….”I’m the only one still alive that knows how we did it last time”……….”Here’s all the codes” (and then directions to get to the place and passing an odd looking plastic item to the person )…..guy says back he has “never been there before” …..something about going down 76th, something about turning on 196th (close to the area of where this coffee shop is) ………..then another person comes in, and voila, I just happened to RECOGNIZE that person (you know who you are!) talking with these same men (he tries to cover his face when we are outside looking indirectly at him….just to make sure, it is who it is)…………Just sitting quietly trying to drink my coffee and this unfolds….something about a …..”board”……and definately “skew the information”……”that’s what we did last time”…….Me, just sitting quietly drinking my coffee a couple weeks ago with a friend…….Three men in a coffee shop apparently, seems to me to be talking in regards to elections and voting………At least one was well known……..If there is a non corrupt voting head around, perhaps they would be interested in WHO these people were at this little coffee shop just out of town talking of skewing the information…………………Just needed to get this off of my chest, so to speak………Here I am minding my own business – ! D’ya think there needs to be some change here – We are a country of LAWS & Justice – What about this” keeps us civilized” do some people just not get !!……and shame on those that go along……Just getting it off my chest – I like living around civilized souls! ….and please don’t poison me……just the facts! folks…..Someone who believes in integrity for our voting system might be interested in the well known person…… Just thinking about the importance of voting and knowing for sure that our votes actually count without any interference. As I said, this unfolded just outside of Edmonds

    1. Wow, this is great information. Were the three men wearing black suits and dark sunglasses?

      If what you inconspicuously discovered is evidence of election fixing and can be validated, why would you post it here vs. report to election authorities? There is this new invention called “The Internet”, on this internet is a site called “Google”. There you can easily find city, county, state and federal election officials.

      Unless, you are not interested in hearing what actually was discussed during the conversation between the three people you happen to have overheard, why wouldn’t you name these people publicly? Let them explain themselves and then form an opinion.

  2. Thanks to all who supported the campaign – I’m waiting for all the votes to be counted. This is a close race!

    Regardless of the results of the election; this campaign has changed how our community will look at the Port as an important part of our waterfront with the Marsh being a valued, natural open space. It has also shown that the Port Commission is a major player in terms of development in our downtown Edmonds/waterfront areas. I also want to encourage people to stay engaged with their local representatives and on the waterfront issues.

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