It's Backus vs. Partridge in the race for mayor | Primary election

Nancy Backus, left, hugs her mother, Mary Karr, after early returns show the deputy mayor with a sizable lead in the primary election Tuesday night.  - Robert Whale/Auburn Reporter
Nancy Backus, left, hugs her mother, Mary Karr, after early returns show the deputy mayor with a sizable lead in the primary election Tuesday night.
— image credit: Robert Whale/Auburn Reporter

The whoop went up just after 8:15 p.m., in the tiny, crowded backroom of Oddfellas Pub & Eatery, after one of Nancy Backus' supporters announced the first King County results of Tuesday's primary election to choose the two Auburn mayoral candidates for the Nov. 5 general election.

"... Backus 3,139, John Partridge, 2,460, Scot Pondelick 964," the voice rose above an already rising din. ... That's 47.63 percent for Nancy, 37.32 for Partridge, 14.63 percent for Pondelick."

Twenty seconds of cheers and hollering swallowed up the tail end of the summation.

Backus, a member of the City Council since 2004, overcome by the enormity of this moment in her life, let the tears flow freely.

If the results hold, Backus and fellow Councilmember Partridge will contend for the City's top executive job in November, with Backus on the verge of becoming the first female mayor Auburn has ever had.

"I am so excited, you just don't know," Backus said, accepting the first round of congratulatory hugs from supporters. "I came here tonight not knowing what the result was going to be, hoping for the best, hoping for the best, bracing for anything. And to be surrounded by people that supported me, not just through this, but through so many things in my life. I've known some of them since I was in grade school. To have them here with me makes it so special."

Backus' mother, Mary Karr, celebrating her 87th birthday Tuesday, was there to share in the happiness.

"I am so proud of her," Karr said.

"I promise to work even harder getting ready for the general election in November," Backus said.

In Pierce County results, Backus was receiving 55.5 percent, Partridge 31.9 percent and Pondelick 12.2 percent of the vote.

Pondelick, an Iraq War veteran shooting for the moon on his first foray into politics, was also at Oddfellas Tuesday night, in the restaurant, enjoying an evening out with family.

"It's still early," said Pondelick, undaunted and smiling.

In the primary for Auburn Council Position 4, the field appeared to be set for a November showdown between Yolanda Trout and Auburn locksmith Frank Lonergan. As of Tuesday evening, Trout was leading the field by a healthy margin in the portion of Auburn in King County, where she was taking 46.4 percent of the vote, 2,877 votes, followed by Lonergan with 33.8 percent, or 2,092 votes, and Thomas Sauers, with 19.24 percent, 1,192 votes.

In Pierce County, the results in the council primary were much closer: 45.3 percent Trout, 43.6 percent Lonergan and 11 percent for Sauers.

King County will update its results Wednesday afternoon and periodically until the election is certified on Aug. 20.

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