The first round of election results gave Auburn voters insight into how the seven local races might conclude. Several races were easier to forecast, giving candidates confidence in their likely victory. Though two races left some candidates anxious for the next release of results.
2019 Candidates Chris Stearns, James Jeyaraj, Robyn Mulenga, Robert (Bob) Baggett, and Arlista Holman joined supporters at Oddfellas for an election night event. Nearby downtown Ryan Burnett and Vera Orlandic-Hodak hosted a joint event with their supporters at Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant.
Candidates and supporters alike were glued to their phones as the release of results neared, refreshing screens with hopeful anticipation. When the results dropped, cheers filled both events.
City of Auburn Elections
Auburn City Council Position No. 1:
Stearns ran unopposed in his race. “I’m really excited,” said Stearns. “It’s incredibly humbling and a quite an honor to have the opportunity to represent Auburn; to bring us together and celebrate what unites us rather than what divides us. To bring our collective resiliency, courage and kindness to work. I’m ready to go to work.”
Stearns, a Navajo, is the first Native American in Auburn’s history to be elected to the Auburn City Council. “I’m incredibly grateful to the voters, because this election is really about them. I’m really happy for the other candidates, especially my friend James who ran really hard, worked his tail off and is doing really well. I’m just looking forward to serving with everyone who wins tonight,” said Stearns.
Auburn City Council Position No. 3:
Multi-county election night results show Jeyaraj with a 6.53% lead over opponent Ken Pearson. Jeyaraj shared that he “felt very good about” the first round of results. He was confident going into election night “because we did the work. At this point it’s onward to being on the council and doing what’s right for the city,” said Jeyaraj.
Pearson did not respond to a request for comment.
Auburn City Council Position No. 5:
The closets of the city council races, Burnett holds a 2.59% lead over Mulenga. This race was also close in the August primary, though Mulenga was the leader. Burnett’s largest lead comes out of Pierce County (primarily the Lakeland Hills neighborhood), with a lead of 16.33%.
Burnett was “very excited,” about the initial results. “Hopefully King County works out. I have a lot of things I want to set as goals for us as a city,” said Burnett. “ I’m nervous but looking forward to the opportunity.”
Mulenga remains hopeful.
Auburn City Council Position No. 7
Incumbent Baggett currently holds a 6.75% lead over opponent Orlandic-Hodak in multi-county results. Baggett shared that he was “excited, very excited,” after the first round of results. “I hope that the numbers stay in our favor. I look forward to another four years. I think that we got a good group of people that are coming in, and we’re going to make the most of it for the city and all the residents.”
Reviewing the initial results, Orlandic-Hodak said she “feels good about the election.” Reflecting on her campaign experience, she shared that “everything was nice, [and that it was a] great experience, [I] learned a lot, especially meeting people. Doorbelling was a great experience. If I could, I would do again. Doorbelling was the best experience.”
Still remaining hopeful, Orlandic-Hodak offered her “congrats to Bob, and I wish him the best of luck.”
ASD School Board Director Position No. 1
Sheilia McLaughlin ran unopposed in her race. She will be replacing long-time director Ray Vefik. McLaughlin offered a “big thank you to everyone that voted, not just for me, but for taking part in our democracy.”
ASD School Board Director Position No. 2
Multi-county results show Chris Grames leading opponent Arlista Holman by 3.8%. Holman stated that she remains hopeful, and is honored to have run.
Grames was out of the country and unavailable for comment.
ASD School Board Director Position No. 4
Laura Theimer ran unopposed. She was the incumbent, having been appointed to her position after former school board director Anne Baunach resigned in 2018.
City of Pacific
Current Pacific Mayor Leanne Guier holds a 7.72% lead over opponent Vic Kave in current multi-county results. “I am truly honored the voters in Pacific are trusting me to advocate and serve as their Mayor,” said Guier. “I am looking forward to the great things we will accomplish in the next 4 years. My heart is full #I💜Pacific”
Kave was unavailable for comment.
Pacific City Council Position No. 1
Katherine V. Garberding is holding a close 1.6% lead over opponent Jaylynn Markwald
Pacific City Council Position No. 3
Joshua Putnam holds a strong 16.41% lead over opponent Brice Erickson
Pacific City Council Position No. 6
David B. Storaasli leads opponent Aarron Fahrenkrug by 19.23%
City of Algona
Candidate Dave Hill (running unopposed) has a 94.31% return in results.
King County Medic 1 has an assumptive pass, with a current result of 70.45% yes.
Referendum No. 88 has initial combined state results that are leaning toward a repeal of I-1000. The reject vote is leading by 3.54%
Initiative Measure No. 976, which would reduce car tabs to $30.00, has a strong lead 11.52% toward passing.
The next results update will be 4:00pm on November 6th. Subsequent updates are scheduled daily at 4:00pm until November 25th No results will be posted on Monday, November 11th as it is Veterans Day. The election will be certified on November 26th.