Election 2021: Cass, Johnson, Tibbott leading in early city council returns

From left, Alicia Crank and Kristiana Johnson

Incumbent Kristiana Johnson, former councilmember Neil Tibbott and newcomer Janelle Cass were leading in their respective races for Edmonds City Council in first-day results released by the Snohomish County Elections Office Tuesday night.

Of the three council races, two of them involved incumbents. Position 1 Councilmember Johnson, seeking her third term on council, was leading challenger Alicia Crank, garnering 57% of the early returns or 5,120 votes. Crank, a nonprofit executive who is also vice chair of the Edmonds Planning Board, received 42% of first-day results, or 3,796 votes.

“While tonight’s results are disappointing, we’ll keep waiting for the final numbers,” Crank said. “But no matter what the outcome, this is the beginning of something. You don’t have to be in elected office to make changes in the city where you live. This is my home.”

“For my part, I will continue to promote small businesses, the Edmonds International Women’s Day,” Crank continued. “I will continue my work on the planning board and the (Paine Field) Airport Commission, I will continue the Black in Edmonds discussions.”

In Position 3, incumbent City Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas — seeking a fourth term — was behind in her race against former city councilmember and mayoral candidate Neil Tibbott. Fraley-Monillas received 32% of votes (2,830) to 6,056 for Tibbott (68%).

From left, Position 3 City Council candidates Adrienne Fraley-Monillas and Neil Tibbott

“We are in a place where citizens of this city feel they have not been heard,” Tibbott told supporters gathered at downtown Edmonds’ Cafe Louvre. “We are ready to build trust again. When I say want you to add your voice to city politics, I mean it. I really, really mean it. I believe we need to relearn how to be a community and to knit ourselves together into a community. I aim to lead that.”

Two newcomers are hoping to permanently fill the Position 2 council seat vacated when then-Councilmember Mike Nelson was elected mayor. Luke Distelhorst, who was appointed in January 2020 to serve the remainder of Nelson’s term, was defeated in the August primary. In the Position 2 general election race, Janelle Cass, who owns Ohana Hyperbarics in downtown Edmonds, received 52% of the vote (4,672) in early returns, compared to 48% (4,328) for Will Chen, who operates the Will Chen CPA, PLLC firm near Highway 99.

From left, Position 2 candidates Janelle Cass and Will Chen

Chen hosted a gathering with family, friends and supporters at T&T Seafood in Edmonds’ Highway 99 neighborhood Tuesday night. Cass held a private event closed to the media, but offered the following statement late Tuesday:

“I want to thank all the voters of Edmonds for their support and participation in this election. So many people donated their time, talent and treasure to this campaign and I am honored to have them on my side. Edmonds has been lucky to have two great choices for city council position 2. Overall, we have some big wins for Edmonds, and I look forward to seeing the final results of this race over the next few days.“

In the Town of Woodway, all positions for mayor and town council were unopposed, with Mayor Mike Quinn and Councilmembers Rajeev Thakur, John Brock and Brian Bogen winning their respective races.

In the election for Edmonds School Board Director District 2, Keith Smith was leading Melissa Stepp in early returns, with 13,279 votes (66%) to 6,604 (33%) for Stepp. Both are seeking the District 2 seat being vacated by longtime board director Ann McMurray, who is not running for re-election. While each school board director position represents a specific district (District 2 covers Mountlake Terrace and Brier), they are elected by all voters.

Edmonds School Board Director Deborah Kilgore was running unopposed for her District 4 seat.

“I look forward to another term on the school board, during which I expect the district will continue to make forward progress in offering a world-class education to all students regardless of circumstance,” Kilgore said. “Thanks to everyone in our Edmonds School District community who support our schools and our kids!”

For Edmonds Port District Commissioner Position 5 at large, incumbent Steve Johnston was leading challenger Scott Marshall, receiving 77% of the votes to 23%. Edmonds Port Commission District 1 incumbent Angela Harris, was running unopposed, as was District 3 candidate Jay Grant. (District 3 incumbent Bruce Faires isn’t seeking re-eletion.)

Edmonds Municipal Court Judge Whitney Rivera was also running unopposed.

There are two seats up for election on the Public Hospital District No. 2 Board of  Commissioners. In Tuesday’s results, University of Washington-Bothell Assistant Vice Chancellor Carolyn Brennan was ahead in the Position 2 race, receiving 74% of the vote to 26% for attorney Rico Tessandore. For Position 5, Dr. Jim Distelhorst was leading challenger Anita Shad with 62% of the vote. Shad received 38% in early returns.

And in the race for seats on the South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue RFA Commission (before voters in the city of Lynnwood and unincorporated areas), David Chan was leading Rashawn Smith for Position-at-Large 7 with 68% of the vote. while Derek Daniels was ahead of Maya Ojalehto, 51% to 49%.

For Olympic View Water District Commissioner Position 2 John Elsasser was running unopposed.

You can see all results at this link. The next round of results will be released at 5 p.m. Nov. 3.



31 Replies to “Election 2021: Cass, Johnson, Tibbott leading in early city council returns”

  1. Thank you Teresa – My Edmonds News – for such incredible, stellar coverage including live and Zoom/YouTube debates and forums in additional to the MEN webpage!!!


    1. Overvotes are the number of ballots with more than one bubble filled in for that contest; those ballots are not counted. Undervotes are the number of ballots where voters skipped voting in that contest.


    2. Overvote = voting for more than one candidate. This is not allowed of course because you can only cast a vote for one person per race.

      Undervote = not voting for anyone.

      Hope that helps.


    3. Under voting is when you don’t fill out the bubble for any candidate for a certain race, and you’re allowed to do that. Over voting is when you vote for more than one candidate for a particular race and that is not permitted.


  2. I think the biggest news here is 29% turnout. I think it would be the REDI positions first job should be to examine the demographics of the votes and why 70% did not bother. I’m not going to speculate on why 70% didn’t feel any pull to vote, simply stating for me this is the biggest news of the returns.


    1. Connie Weintz – Was the REDI “Race/equity/diversity/inclusion” manager in the city created to seek out better election turnout? I missed that job function. Are city managers creating these types of jobs to achieve some other type of result unrelated to the function itself?

      I completed my ballot and submitted it. I didn’t see anything on the ballot about REDI. How would a REDI manager get this information if I didn’t supply it?

      In my “non-professional” opinion people don’t vote because they are lazy. The ballot comes in the mail and you don’t have to buy a stamp to mail it. It takes five minutes to complete if you choose D’s down the page and not repeal all the taxes that have been imposed on you. -OR- It could take up to one hour to research each person online and read on each tax and decide if you support it or not. People have to choose what type of Lazy they are – All out, Partially Lazy, or Not Lazy at All.

      The only possible reason for not filling out the ballot is if you need the paper for a fire to keep warm and if that is why 70% of the people didn’t turn in their ballot then we have bigger issues we need to deal with than having a REDI manager at the city of Edmonds.

      I personally feel the REDI manager position was created because the current administration knew they were about to get slaughtered in the election and they wanted to have plants and scapegoats for the mayor to survive and keep his agenda going until the next election.

      The next REDI manager will be Fraley, Distelhorst, or Crank. My money is on Crank. I am sure the deal is already done.


      1. Jim: The REDI manager comment was a little bit of sarcastic humor. Trying not to poke any more bears here but I certainly failed.


  3. Why would you list Janelle Cass’ business, “Ohana Hyperbarics in downtown Edmonds”, but not Will Chen’s business, which is Will Chen, CPA PLLC? By saying “Will Chen, who operates a CPA firm near Highway 99”, it seems you are both dismissing his ownership of his firm, and also marginalizing him by highlighting the fact that his business is not in the bowl. I am not a resident of Edmonds, I live in Shoreline, but am actively involved in Edmonds through volunteerism. I am not commenting as a voter, but instead as someone who wants to see fair and equitable media coverage. In this case, I think you failed.


    1. Sorry for the omission and that wasn’t intentional. Since Will’s name is in his business, it’s a bit more obvious. But I will add. — Teresa


  4. Overvotes are when a voter places more votes for a position than is allowed. For instance, if the voter votes for Alicia Crank but also wrote is another candidate for that same position, that would be an overvote. On the other hand, if the voter filled out fewer votes on his/her ballot than are allowed, that would be an undervote. For instance, if a voter voted only for Alicia Crank but didn’t fill out any other portion of the ballot, that ballot would be classified as an undervote.


  5. Thank you My Edmonds News and Teresa! We woke up and hoped to find results. Thank you for being a trusted news source for our community!


  6. Thank you Dave for taking the time to explain to those of us interested in learning so that we can become more involved in voting and in our local government. 🙂


  7. I, along with a partner, were posted at Edmonds Library drop box from 1:30pm until 8pm closing. Neither of us had ever seen such a turnout at the box. There was a steady stream of voters! We transported easily over 1000 ballots to Everett after we closed the box. I had to direct traffic in the library parking lot at times because there were so many people in line. As a courtesy, and to facilitate traffic and avoid delays we offered to place ballots in the box. I wish we had a drive through at the library. I was so proud of my Edmonds friends for voting! If you’re interested in this fun job, which pays $17/hour(!!!) http://www.snoco.org. They are always looking for people to do this on election days and it’s a great job for retirees (like me!)


    1. Thanks for that good description, Janice. Another observation is that ballots dropped in ballot boxes or mailed yesterday, none of those have been counted yet. They will be processed and added to the total count day by day. Something just over 29% turnout was logged last night, but as more ballots get counted that percentage should grow significantly.


    2. Janice – THANK YOU! For sharing your experience as far as voter turnout! That is very hopeful news to hear. Thank you also for adding the link for those who would enjoy this type of work!


  8. Congratulations to the winners of our election. I think the biggest winners are, we the people. Now we just need to “drop the Mike”…


  9. In re Cass and Chen. I considered this race “an abundance of riches.” Two very good candidates seeking public office for the greater good – not for personal agendas. They are both persons of proven merit, worth, and professionalism. But that they both could have been elected in different contested races. I hope there will be a future opportunity for Will Chen to serve our City.


  10. If only Edmonds residents were all Christian conservatives. This council would represent them perfectly. Shame, shame, shame.


    1. Whats wrong with you… I am a Christian and I am a moderate Democrat and I am thrilled. I would have liked the other council better if they had been more willing to accept other ideas and suggestions instead of too much $$ for things not needed… or trying to take us like Seattle one step closer to disaster. (My opinion only )…Not a cool thing to say Scott. This council is just fine… The new one will be a fresh start and I think they know that too. SO don’t go making this about God. All Christans are not conservative. In fact many Christians are not conservatives. Many Democrats like me have always been Christians. Me Methodist…Not active here but that is how I was baptized twice. So I say Shame, Shame, Shame on you…Leave God out of it. I am sure he will appreciate it. HaHa. YA know if God would walk into this town we would all be getting a really good talking to about many things. I would guess.


        1. I don’t always approve of election results either. But then again, I accept the results of the voters. I could badmouth the outgoing council members. I try to hold myself above such reproach. It appears voters were not happy with the direction the city was headed. Hopefully you voted. If not, you have no reason to complain. And if you do not approve of our election, you can voice that opinion on the next election. That my friend is what makes America great. And please leave Christians out of this. Politics and Religion are not one and the same. There is no shame in voting one’s conscious. Shame comes from disrespecting others…


        2. Mr. Caspers, are you not the Scum of the Skies and Hilary for Prison house? Maybe you shouldn’t pass judgement on acceptance.


    2. Ive seen some of the social media junk parroting this. I’m atheist. Democrats created a religion.

      Congratulations everyone. Luke Distelhorst and Concilwoman Fraily Monillas. Thank you for your service. I apologize for being too critical of your ideas. The town, speaking generally yet truthfully, loves you for representing the community, and there is tremendous respect for your accomplishments and sense of duty.


  11. Wow Scott! So your candidates didn’t win so the winners ( and by extension their supporters) are “Christian Conservatives” and used by you a a pejorative ? Might want to rethink your personal values.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.