More than 18,000 residents voted for their District 5 Snohomish County Council candidate this primary election.

Incumbent Sam Low and Kristin Kelly of Snohomish will likely be on the 2017 general election ballot in November. 

“I am extraordinarily happy that I will be in the general election and facing off with Sam Low,” Kelly said. “I appreciate everybody’s vote, and I am out to win.”

The Democrat has spent 15 years working on public policy, and served on the past two Snohomish County Charter Review Commissions. She ran against nearly a dozen other candidates and won the most votes for her district both times.

Kelly said she will continue to campaign just as hard as she has been. The only difference is that now she has only one opponent to focus on instead of two. Tara Schumacher of Maltby received the least amount of votes.

Kelly said her aim is to take back the seat for her party, “work hard for our community, our economy and our environment.”

Kelly, who is executive director for the Pilchuck Audubon Society, would also continue to make land-use policy a priority if elected. Kelly has also worked as the program director for the sustainable-growth nonprofit Futurewise, and she hopes to help find more ways to support small businesses in the community.

Kelly’s endorsements include Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, all four Snohomish County Legislative District Democrats, former state representative and county councilmember Hans Dunshee and Sen. Guy Palumbo, D-Maltby. 

As of press time Low had taken about 56 percent of the votes, with Kelly taking 32 percent and Schumacher trailing at 12 percent. It was Schumacher’s first time running for an elected seat. The small business owner said she was motivated to run so she could bring more representation to the district’s unincorporated areas.

“I think it is great that the voters had three choices,” Low said. “My campaign is working on the issues that matter most: transportation, fiscal responsibility, public safety, and my message is resonating with the voters.”

If reelected, Low said he plans to address underfunding of the district’s roadways. He estimates up to $1.5 billion is needed to properly update major arterials, such as the State Route 522 bottleneck and the congestion on U.S. Highway 2 between Sultan and Skykomish.

Low unseated Dunshee in the 2016 general election. Dunshee was appointed to the position after Somers assumed the County Executive position. Low received 37,000 votes in last year’s general election; more than any other official who has run for the job. 

Snohomish County Elections manager Garth Fell said the election results will be certified on Aug. 15. However, a wide enough gap exists between all three candidates  that the outcome is unlikely to change significantly.

“I think the results are positive, but again it’s the primary, and there is still the general election this fall, and everything is zero-zero,” Low said. “There are no votes that carry over to the general election.”

Low and Kelly will be at the Monroe Chamber of Commerce candidate forum 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10 at the Rock Church in Monroe.