From left, candidates Ryan Burnett, Robyn Mulenga and Anthony Ase. COURTESY PHOTOS

From left, candidates Ryan Burnett, Robyn Mulenga and Anthony Ase. COURTESY PHOTOS

Mulenga, Burnett have early jump in race for Auburn City Council seat

The numbers will certainly change with each count in the coming days, but if the early returns of Tuesday’s primary election for Auburn City Council Position 5 hold, Robyn Mulenga and Ryan Burnett will meet in the general election, and Anthony Ase will be out.

According to the updated, combined King and Pierce County results released Wednesday at 4:39 p.m., Mulenga had 2,417 votes (37.82 percent), Burnett had 2,309 votes (36.13 percent) and Ase trailed both with 1,547 votes (24.99 percent) out of the 6,391 votes counted so far.

Wednesday’s update added only 33 votes to the first returns on Tuesday night.

Mulenga has been a member of the Auburn School District Board since 2014 and works for the federal government in land contracts. Burnett, for 19 years a restaurant manager and a chef, was an inaugural member of Mayor Nancy Backus’ new jobs task force. Ase is a math teacher.

“I am pleased that the Auburn community came out and showed their support. I am looking forward to the final results,” Mulenga said.

Burnett was thrilled with the numbers to date, and eager to get to work on the fall campaign.

”This is just the beginning, and the results tell me I have work to do. Expect to see me out in the community, knocking on doors, attending community events so that I can hear what the community has to say,” Burnett said.

Ase did not respond to a request for comment.

Position 5 is the only council contest of three that drew more than two applicants, mandating a primary. Two-term incumbent John Holman is not running for re-election.

Candidates for the remaining City Council positions are: Position 1: Christopher Stearns, unopposed; Position 3: James Jeyaraj vs. Ken Pearson; and Position 7: incumbent Bob Baggett vs. Vera Orlandic-Hodak.

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