Mike Nelson or Neil Tibbott? That may be the decision facing Edmonds voters in November after the two current Edmonds City Councilmembers were leading the field following the first day of primary election results from the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office, released at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6.
The top two vote getters in all primary races will advance to the general election in November. Vote counts will be updated daily as more mail-in ballots are received by the county elections office.
The primary election will be certified by the county Aug. 20.
Nelson and Tibbott topped a group of four primary candidates that included Edmonds City Councilmember and former transportation planner Kristiana Johnson and current City of Edmonds Planner Brad Shipley.
Nelson received 44% of the votes released Tuesday — a total of 3,316 votes — compared to 29% (2,214 votes) for Tibbott. Johnson came in third with 16% or 1,199 votes. Shipley received 867 votes or 11%.
Two-term Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling is not seeking re-election.
“I am humbled and appreciative of our citizens’ strong support of our campaign,” said Nelson, who spent the evening watching results privately with family and close friends. “I look forward to a meaningful discussion on the future of Edmonds in the following months.”
Noting that the results won’t be certified until Aug. 20, Tibbott told supporters gathered at Demetris restaurant Tuesday night that he was “very encouraged by the results.” Being mayor “is a serious job with serious consequences for our city,” Tibbott said, adding he is looking forward “to the opportunity to personally meet with residents of Edmonds as they consider their choice leading up to the general election in November.”
Nelson, 44, is the executive director of the Service Employees International Union Washington State Council. He has served on the council since being appointed in 2015 to replace Strom Peterson, when Peterson was elected to the Washington State Legislature. Nelson was then elected to the council position in 2015 and re-elected in 2017.
Tibbott, 61, runs a human resources consulting firm. He is finishing up his first term on the council after defeating incumbent Lora Petso in 2015. Before that he served on the city’s Planning Board.
Primary results were also released for Edmonds School Board of Directors Position 3 and 5 candidates. As of Tuesday night, Position 3 incumbent Gary Noble was the top vote getter with 46% (8,045 votes) with challengers Rory Graves and Jennifer Cail receiving 20% of votes each. Of the final two challengers, Mary Schultz received 8% or 1,464 votes while Boe Lindgren got 900 votes or 5%. (You can see all results in tables below.)
“I would like to sincerely thank the community for their continued support of our school district and my candidacy,” Noble said in a statement. “I truly believe in the power of public schools and I hope to continue to represent you on the school board.”
In position 5 — an open seat because current School Board member Diana White is not seeking re-election — Nancy Katims led the field of five candidates with 8,961 votes (54%) while opponent Lisa Hunnewell came in second with 3,734 votes or 22%. Challenger Rina Maile Redrup received 2,412 votes (14%), while Casey Auve earned 1,516 votes or 9%
“I am honored by the confidence voters are placing in me, and I look forward to carrying our message forward to the November election,” Katims said in a statement. “Tonight’s results make it clear that voters share my sense of urgency about student learning in the Edmonds School District. We are now one step closer to a school board energetically focused on student success for all.”
In the other race facing Edmonds voters, Snohomish County Council Position 3 incumbent Stephanie Wright was leading both her challengers, with 78% of the vote.
Primary results reported as of Aug. 6, 2019
City of Edmonds Mayor
7,687 ballots received
30,557 registered voters, turnout 25.16%
Mike Nelson 3316 43.55%
Neil Tibbott 2214 29.08%
Brad Shipley 867 11.39%
Kristiana Johnson 1199 15.75%
Write-in 18 0.24%
~ ~ ~ ~
Edmonds School District 15
18,748 ballots received
104,753 registered voters, turnout 17.90%
Director District 3
Gary Noble 8045 46.06%
Jennifer Cail 3451 19.76%
Boe Lindgren 900 5.15%
Mary Schultz 1464 8.38%
Rory Graves 3535 20.24%
Write-in 70 0.40%
~ ~ ~ ~
Director District 5
Lisa Hunnewell 3734 22.34%
Rina Maile Redrup 2412 14.43%
D.P (Casey) Auve III 1516 9.07%
Nancy Katims 8961 53.60%
Write-in 94 0.56%
The next set of results is scheduled to be released at 5 p.m. Aug. 7.
— By Teresa Wippel