By Polly Keary, Editor
Former Monroe City Councilman Geoffrey Thomas will return to city government in January, this time as mayor, following Tuesday’s election results.
Thomas garnered 51.7 percent of the vote, and his opponent Ed Davis had 47.7 percent. The actual difference between the number of votes each received was just over 100; Thomas at last count Friday had 1,391 votes to Davis’ 1,283.
Thomas, who focused on knocking on doors to talk to voters throughout Monroe during his campaign, said he believed his victory was related to that effort.
“During the campaign, I personally reached out to hundreds of residents and business owners,” he said.
He also said that his message of ending divisiveness in the city’s government was well received.
“My campaign focused on leadership that will engage our community, manage responsibly, and place Monroe before partisan politics and special interests,” he said.
He also credited his family and the volunteers who helped with the campaign.
Incumbent Monroe City Councilmember Kevin Hanford will return to council next year following his victory with 54.2 percent over opponent Brad Waddell, who won 45.1 percent of the vote.
Jeff Rasmussen, a former Monroe Parks Board member, appears to have eked out a victory over opponent Mike Stanger for Monroe City Council seat #3. As of end-of-day Friday, he had 50.3 percent of the vote, and Stanger had 49.1 percent. The tally is only 41 votes apart, however, and mail-in ballots continue to trickle in.
Machine recounts are automatic when less than half of one percent of the total number of votes separates the candidates. That means that, should the vote gap shrink to 13 or less, there will be an automatic recount.
Rasmussen also felt that time spent walking door-to-door helped him to success.
“During my campaign, I spent hundreds of hours throughout our community meeting with residents, business owners and community leaders,” he said. “I listened to their thoughts, concerns and hopes for our community. I listened to what our community expects of their elected officials and of the city many call home. There were many conversations on how our residents and business owners could partner with their elected officials to make one unified community. There were many conversations on how a change in culture was desperately needed. The bottom line is; I was out in our community personally, having these conversations with our community.”
He pledged to make the government more in touch with the residents.
“I will embrace a culture at City Hall where there are lively and open discussions about the matters that affect our community,” said Rasmussen. “During my campaign, I made it very clear that I was not running for any special interest group; I was running for our community. When it’s all said and done, that is what I will do.”
For the two-year, at-large city council seat, incumbent Kurt Goering defeated his opponent by a considerable margin. He had 58.4 percent of the vote, whereas Daniel Williams had 41 percent.
Goering could not be reached for comment, but Williams said that he felt he had been an underdog throughout the campaign.
“I was running against an experienced councilmember with huge name recognition in our community and many voters frankly just don’t know his past voting record and are trusting him as their friend,” he said.
The outcome reveals that a significant number of people in Monroe want change, he added.
“Just because the votes weren’t quite enough to place me on the council, it is obvious that many of our neighbors want our city to really listen to them instead of listening to special interests,” Williams said.
Williams also said that he will stay involved, encouraging the council to act to reduce crime, and acting as an advocate for townspeople. And he encouraged Monroe residents to stay tuned into city affairs.
“I encourage all the citizens of Monroe to review the City Council agendas weekly and listen to the audio of how your councilmembers are really voting,” he said. “Remember to come to council and speak on the record when you find that the council just isn’t listening. There is nothing wrong with questioning and learning more about the process because there are many changes happening that affect us all.”
Williams, who profusely thanked the volunteers who supported his campaign, also said he plans to spend a fair amount of time volunteering, and encouraged other citizens to do the same, citing in particular St. Vincent de Paul. He is willing to entertain invitations to volunteer for local community efforts; to reach him, call (425) 244-2196.
And in the race to represent the Sky Valley district on the County Council, incumbent Dave Somers emerged ahead of his Republican opponent Chris Vallo, 55-44 percent.
Somers expressed appreciation to his supporters, and said that he plans to help two new councilmembers elected in other districts get settled, and then he’s going to take on the big issues facing the county.
“Major issues before us are the placement and construction of a new courthouse, funding and construction of major transportation projects, working to make Snohomish County business friendly while protecting our quality of life, improving our education opportunities, and keeping our county a great place to work, play, grow and live,” he said. “Snohomish County is an amazing place and we need to care for it and prepare it for the future. That will be my focus and priority.”
Voter turnout was at about 39 percent countywide, and was about 42.7 percent in Monroe.
The election will be certified Nov. 26. General elections always certify 21 days after Election Day.
For complete upper-valley results, see the Valley News page.