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Holman, Osborne leading early in Auburn City Council races; Haugen concedes
The atmosphere at Zola's Cafe on East Main Street on Tuesday night was festive, as four of the six candidates for Auburn City Council gathered with friends and supporters to await the verdict of voters.
And, as the first numbers rolled in shortly after 8 p.m. and eyes turned to the various electronic devices scattered about the room, John Hayes Holman and Wayne Osborne found plenty to celebrate.
As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, the combined King and Pierce counties' result had Holman beating incumbent Virginia Haugen, Position 5, 54 percent to 46 percent, gathering 4,208 votes to Haugen's 3,620 votes.
In the other contested race, Osborne was thumping Auburn locksmith Frank Lonergan by a convincing margin of 67 percent to 33 percent, or 4,963 to 2,480 votes.
Osborne and Lonergan were vying for Position 7, held by Lynn Norman, who did not seek reelection.
In a call to the Auburn Reporter at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Haugen threw in the towel.
"I'm conceding right now," Haugen said. "I'm fine, I have other plans. I, of course, would not run again, and I do believe there should be term limits.
"My heart is breaking, not for myself, but for the city of Auburn. I am so sad about what has happened to Auburn," she said. "It just breaks my heart. It's politicians who spend a lot of money, having a good time."
Holman was gracious, praising Haugen as "a very passionate person" who ran a good campaign. But he was already looking toward the first City Council meeting in January.
"I'll be doing an awful lot of reading," Holman said. "I've got to come up to speed so that in January, time isn't lost. A lot of times I'm going to have to check with the current council to find out what's important, meet with the newly electeds to do what's best for the city and collect input from citizens."
Osborne, a retired air traffic controller, said he'd been telling well-wishers throughout the day that he wasn't nervous or frightened.
"Scared is when you've got a whole bunch of airplanes, and you're running out of airspace and ideas and time," Osborne said.
Osborne then thanked the citizens of Auburn for "having faith in me. The work starts now."
Largo Wales, Position 1, and incumbent Bill Peloza, Position 3, ran unopposed, but they were there to monitor results as if they'd run hotly contested races. Wales will fill the seat now held by Sue Singer, who did not seek reelection.
"It was really fun, and the best part I liked was the opportunity to learn some of the ins and outs of the political system — public disclosure and those kinds of things," said Wales, former director of ACAP Child and Family Services and a retired administrator with the Auburn School District. "My campaign managers, Debbie Christian and Connie Dove, enjoyed that, too. Under the tutelage of my treasurer, Sue Singer, we just had fun."
Baunach's big lead
In the contest for Auburn School District Board Position 2 now held by Craig Schumaker, who did not seek reelection, Anne Baunach was holding a commanding lead over Ryan Anderson, 63 percent to 36 percent. Incumbents Carol Helgerson and Ray Vefik ran unopposed.
The Auburn Reporter will update numbers as they come in. The results will not be certified until the first week of December.