Cass concedes to Chen in Position 2 council race; Chen pledges to ‘find common ground’ on issues

From left, Position 2 candidates Janelle Cass and Will Chen

With the latest results showing her trailing by 135 votes, Edmonds City Council Position 2 candidate Janelle Cass conceded to opponent Will Chen Tuesday night.

In a statement posted on her campaign Facebook page, Cass congratulated Chen on his sucessful campaign and also offered thanks to “all the volunteers, supporters and donors who made this campaign possible.” She also thanked her family members for the sacrifices they made during the campaign.

Cass said she made her decision to concede “after reviewing the latest numbers on the election results that came out last night.” The Nov. 15 results released by the Snohomish County Elections Office show Chen with 7,784 votes (50.37%), compared to 7,649 votes (49.50%) for Cass. Chen’s lead “is a direct result of a strong work ethic and putting in extra hours to serve our community,” Cass said. “Edmonds will benefit from Will’s dedication. We can all look forward to him hitting the ground running and bringing his fiscal expertise to city council.”

Both newcomers to Edmonds’ political scene, Cass and Chen were running to permanently fill the Position 2 council seat vacated when then-Councilmember Mike Nelson was elected mayor in 2019. Luke Distelhorst, who was appointed in January 2020 to serve the remainder of Nelson’s term, was defeated by Cass and Chen in the August primary. Cass, who owns Ohana Hyperbarics in downtown Edmonds, took an early lead, receiving 52% of the vote Nov. 2. But on Friday, Nov. 5, Chen — who operates the Will Chen CPA firm near Highway 99 — overtook Cass and never relinquished his edge.

In his own statement issued Tuesday night, Chen said he was “deeply appreciative of having the opportunity to run against such a strong candidate. Edmonds is not only a special place, it is also very lucky to have such passionate people that are willing to step up to run for office and represent our community.”

“I am confident, that we will accomplish great things as a community, and even though it may appear at times that we are far apart on many issues, we share an equal love for this city,” Chen continued. “I look forward to working with Janelle and her supporters on the issues facing our city so that we can find common ground and make Edmonds a better place for everyone.”

Chen also offered thanks to his “family, friends, volunteers, campaign team, supporters and the countless members of the community who stood by my side during the last 10 months of campaigning.”

The election results will be certified on Tuesday, Nov. 23. Chen is scheduled to attend his first council meeting that same night.