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Incumbents trailing in local elections

SNOQUALMIE - If their leads hold up, challengers could make a clean sweep of three City Council races in the Nov. 6 general election, marking the first time residents of the Snoqualmie Ridge development would serve on that body.

King County Records and Elections Division officials released updated vote tallies on Friday, which do not include all the absentee ballots sent in. The three Snoqualmie City Council incumbents, Colleen Johnson, Frank Lonergan and Cathy (Runkle) Reed, were trailing Matt Larson, Greg Fullington and Jay Rodne, respectively.

Last week's election was also the first opportunity for Snoqualmie Ridge residents to vote for council members.

After the most recent count, in the Position 1 race Larson had garnered 423 votes, or 65.9 percent, to Johnson's 219 votes, or 34.1 percent. Fullington led the Position 3 race with 390 votes, or 64.3 percent, while Lonergan had 217 votes, or 35.8 percent.

For Position 5, Rodne had amassed 348 votes, or 55.4 percent, while Reed had 280 votes, or 44.6 percent, according to the Records and Elections office.

Friday's vote totals - the latest available to the Valley Record before its publication deadline - included all ballots cast at local precincts, as well as an estimated 65 percent of absentee ballots sent in. Results were scheduled to be updated at 4 p.m. Tuesday. To view them online, go to www.metrokc.gov/elections/2001nov/results.htm.

County officials expect to have all the absentee ballots counted by Tuesday, Nov. 20, with the election certified on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Of the 2,083 registered voters in Snoqualmie, 678 ballots were cast in the general election, giving the city a voter turnout of 32.6 percent, according to the Record and Elections Division's most recent update. The number of ballots, and the voter turnout, will almost surely increase as county officials finish counting absentee votes.

The eventual winners will join Marcia Korich and Dick Kirby on the five-member City Council in January.

While Larson, Fullington and Rodne all reside in the Snoqualmie Ridge development, challengers and incumbents alike stressed in the weeks leading up to the election that the races did not signify an "us-against-them" mentality. All six candidates voiced the need for unity between the old and new areas of the city and pledged to work toward that goal.

Other issues addressed by the candidates included funding for park maintenance and the city's police and fire divisions, working to build a community center by 2004 or 2005, finishing the Army Corps of Engineers' Snoqualmie River flood reduction project and revitalizing the downtown area.

Continuing to lead council meetings and serve as the city's top elected official is incumbent Mayor Fuzzy Fletcher, who as of Friday had 539 votes. He ran unopposed in his bid for a second term in office.

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