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Arlington council races still too close to call

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By Gale Fiege and Bill Sheets
Herald Writers
ARLINGTON -- Two Arlington City Council races remain close, nine days after Election Day.
On Wednesday, Arlington Councilman Chris Raezer held a 24-vote margin over challenger Shery Christianson. Earlier tallies had the candidates in a dead heat, followed by slowly increasing leads for Raezer. The current numbers are 1,634 votes or 49.35 percent for Christianson and 1,658 votes or 50.08 percent for Raezer.
"It would be great to pull out a win," Christianson said. "But right now, I just want all the votes counted."
Raezer agreed. The election is scheduled to be certified Nov. 26.
"I'm not going to say I am confident (of a win) but at least the gap has stayed the same for a couple days," Raezer said. "We're hanging in there."
Arlington Councilman Steve Baker and challenger Jesica Stickles have traded the lead in their race back and forth since first results were posted by the Snohomish County elections office on Nov. 5. The latest count shows Stickles ahead with a 5-vote margin: 1,695 votes or 49.62 percent for Baker and 1,700 or 49.77 percent for Stickles.
Baker said he is not losing any sleep over the results.
"It could go to a mandatory recount," he said.
Stickles said she has learned a lot about the ballot-counting process.
"It is looking like a recount," Stickles said. "I am feeling positive about it, however."
Updated election results are next expected to be posted by 5 p.m. today.
In Monroe, two close races got tighter.
In the race for mayor, Geoffrey Thomas now leads Ed Davis by 116 votes-- 1,425 to 1,309. On election night, he was up by 125 votes.
Jeff Rasumussen led Mike Stanger on election night by 72 votes in a contest for city council. He now leads by only 37 votes, 1,291 to 1,254.
In another race the gap widened. City Councilman Kevin Hanford led challenger Brad Waddell by 34 votes on election night, and now leads by 225 -- 1,401 to 1,176.
In Mukilteo, Ted Wheeler widened his lead over Terry Preshaw in the race for an open position on the City Council.
After leading by only 31 votes on election night, Wheeler led Preshaw by 57 votes, 2,840 to 2,783, as of Wednesday's count.
In the Mukilteo mayor's race, the gap closed slightly but City Councilwoman Jennifer Gregerson still held a solid lead over Mayor Joe Marine on Wednesday. She had 3,336 votes, more than 53 percent, to 2,840 for Marine, or just under 47 percent.
Councilman Richard Emery slightly closed the gap against challenger Bob Champion but still trailed 2,834 to 2,660, a difference of 174 votes.
In Snohomish, City Councilman Derrick Burke widened his lead over Michael Whitney on Wednesday to 151 votes -- 960 to 809. On election night, Burke led by 42.
Whitney withdrew from the race but missed a deadline to get his name off the ballot.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427;
Story tags » Local elections

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