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Backus holds early lead over Partridge in battle for Auburn mayor
Auburn's mayoral race remains too close to call from early returns in Tuesday night's general election.
City Councilmember and Deputy Mayor Nancy Backus holds the early edge over City Councilmember John Partridge. Backus, seeking to become Auburn's first female mayor, received 4,014 votes in the combined total of King and Pierce counties to John Partridge's 3,668 – a 53.2 to 47.8 percent margin.
And with only 346 votes separating the two, Tuesday's leader wasn't quite ready to call the race her's nor the fellow trailing ready to call, concede and congratulate.
At Backus' crowded party on the second floor of the Truitt building on West Main Street, there was excitement tempered by the narrowness of the spread — and at Partridge's party at Zola's Cafe on East Main there was disappointment and hope.
Backus was upbeat, taking the microphone at 8:20 p.m. shortly after King County Elections released its first batch of numbers.
"With the candidates it looks like were elected tonight we will be moving Auburn forward together," Backus said to scattered whoops and hollers.
"It's close in King County now, very close," Backus cautioned. "Pierce County, gotta love those Pierce County voters. But it's close, and we will remain optimistic. And we look forward to making history in Auburn."
Down the street Partridge, gripping a paper plate covered with a scrawl of numbers, was upbeat as he and his supporters digested the early returns.
"I'm encouraged by the results," Partridge said. "Obviously, I would like to have seen the numbers initially swing a bit in our direction, but they're close. I couldn't be happier with the support I've received from the community, the time, and the money, and the effort that was spent.
"I think we had an awesome election year in Auburn, and I'll be watching closely the next three or four days to see how things continue to trend," Partridge added.
"It isn't over," said a member of Partridge's campaign team.
Early returns for the three council races in King and Pierce counties, are as follows:
Auburn City Council
King County: 56.8 percent, 3,466 votes
Pierce County: 60.18 percent, 526 votes
King County: 42.9 percent, 2,618 votes
Pierce County: 39.36 percent, 344 votes
King County: 54.77 percent, 3,425 votes
Pierce County: 57.1 percent, 516 votes
King County: 44.9 percent, 2,809 votes
Pierce County: 42.64 percent, 385 votes
King County: 51.01 percent, 3,209 votes
Pierce County: 39.76 percent, 357 votes
King County: 48.75 percent, 3,067 votes
Pierce County: 60.02 percent, 539 votes