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Initial results in for Pacific City Council primary races | Update
The first tallies are in for a pair of Pacific City Council primary races, and the early results indicate current Mayor Leanne Guier and Vic Kave will move on to the general election in the Position 4 race, and Stacy May Knudtson and Gary Nitschke will move on in the Position 5 contest.
With 538 ballots counted as of 8:15 p.m., Tuesday evening, Knudtson is the front runner for Councilmember James McMahan's seat (he is stepping down after his term expires) with 183 votes, or 36.51 percent of the vote. Nitschke is second in the voting with 167 votes, or 33.67 percent, and Stacy D. Jackson, Sr. trails with 141 votes, or 27.79 percent.
Knudtson, a frequent critic of recalled former mayor Cy Sun, said she was nervous that Sun supporters would mobilize to keep her out of office.
"I just hope it holds, it's really close," Knudtson said. "I was really glad, but I was worried earlier that Cy Sun had put other people on the ballot and told people to vote for other people besides me, so I was really scared."
Regardless of the final outcome, in either the primary or the Nov. 5 general election, Knudtson said, she was determined to serve her community the best she could.
"I told Leanne (Guier) by text that I would still help out whether I got to the general election or not. I'm still going to help the city. I'm still going to go to city council meetings and just keep doing what I'm doing," Knudtson said.
In the Position 4 race for the seat formerly held by current mayor Guier, Kave holds a slim 187-vote lead, or 36.6 percent of the vote. Guier, who would have to step down as mayor to accept her former council seat, has 167, or 33.2 percent, of the vote and Dave Stookey is currently odd man out with 145, or 28.6 percent.
"It's too early right now, there are still a lot of ballots out there, but it's nice to be ahead," Kave said.
Kave added that he was disappointed that Guier was not allowed to withdraw from the race after she'd been appointed mayor of Pacific.
"I wish there was a way for her to be out of the race so there is a real choice," Kave said. "If she's not serious about taking the position, I wish she could pull out so the voters would have a real choice in the general election. That's what democracy is all about."
The 538 ballots counted represent about 18.44 percent of the 2,873 ballots sent to registered voters in Pacific. And with ballots still left to be counted according to the King County Elections department, results could change in the tight races in Pacific. The election should be certified on Aug. 20.
Also on the Nov. 5 general election ballot will be contests for council Positions No. 2, with incumbent John Jones facing Brice Erickson, and Position No. 7 incumbent Tren Walker facing Ronnie M. Harris.