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First-time challengers lead in early returns

Edmonds Beacon of Edmonds, Washington

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Edmonds City Council may see many new faces

The election results won't be official until Nov. 24, but it looks like the City of Edmonds will have two new councilmembers come January.

Five seats on the seven-seat council were up for grabs this election season. Three were contested, while two were not.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, early returns in the Nov. 3 Edmonds City Council races show Dave Teitzel leading with 70.97 percent of the votes, and Alicia Crank following with 28.84 percent for Position No. 5, according to results released by Snohomish County Elections.

"I feel honored and humbled that such a strong proportion of Edmonds voters believe in me and agree with my message," Teitzel said. "It reinforces my desire to be inclusive of all our citizens' viewpoints and do a great job as a councilmember for our city" Teitzel and Crank vied for current Councilmember Joan Bloom's seat. Teitzel said he intends to bring respect, trust and humility to the council.

"I believe those three qualities can go a long way in fostering an environment within our council that can. be efficient and collaborative with our citizens and our city's executive branch," he said.

To those who supported him, Teitzel offered his "sincere appreciation," and to those who voted for his opponent he said, "I trust those who chose to vote for my opponent will find me to be a fair, open-minded legislator focused squarely on maintaining Edmonds' great character, while accommodating growth in a sensible manner."

At press time, in the Position No. 7 race, incumbent Lora Petso was running a close second to Neil Tibbott. Petso had 43.48 percent of votes to Tibbott's 56.31 percent.

Tibbot said he's glad he's in the lead and is excited for his team. Over 40 people helped Tibbott campaign, and the lead as of Wednesday was "good news" for all.

He thanked his supporters and asked them to make an effort to get to know him and his style of leadership.

"I also know that Ms. Petso has a loyal base and will be disappointed that she won't be on the council," Tibbott said. "I hope to earn their trust along the way. I suspect Ms. Petso will stay involved with the city one way or another."

In the Position No. 2 race, incumbent Mike Nelson had a strong lead over perennial candidate Al Rutledge with 80.85 percent of votes to Rutledge's 18.86 percent.

Nelson was appointed to the council in March.

"Being appointed you spend a good amount of time hoping you are doing the right thing for our citizens," he said. "Being elected validates it."

Nelson is "humbled and grateful for all of the support," and thanked Rutledge for a "hard fought race."

He said he is looking forward to continued work with the council "on behalf of all of our citizens on a strong economy, a safe community and a healthy environment."

Incumbents Diane Buckshnis and Tom Mesaros ran unopposed and will keep their seats.

Buckshnis retained Position No. 4, while Mesaros retains Position No. 6.

She said she is "honored to represent the citizens for four more years and will continue to work hard to keep Edmonds the place we love and call home."

"I am excited to work with the new councilmembers, as they both worked hard door-belling thousands of homes and getting their message and platforms understood."

Mesaros was appointed in March of 2014.

He said it has been "very affirming" to go through the election process.

"First, no one filed against me," Mesaros said. "Second, people have been generous with their financial support, and finally, people have been very affirming with their comments and votes over the past 4-5 months."

Mesaros said whether appointed or elected, he is a city councilmember with responsibilities to fulfill to the best of his abilities.

"Being elected, though, indicates that the populace approves of me being in this position compared to four other city councilmembers," he said.

Mayor Dave Earling also ran unopposed in the Edmonds mayoral race.

He said he is grateful for the opportunity to serve the community for another four years.

"We have made great progress on a number of fronts and the opportunity to bring further enhancements is rewarding," Earling said.

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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