With the 2017 Pierce County primary election drawing to a close, both Puyallup and Sumner will be seeing some changes on their respective city councils.
With all ballots counted as of Thursday, the race for city Puyallup City Council District Pos. 2 was a close one, with Cynthia Jacobsen edging out incumbent Heather Shadko by a mere nine votes.
The reason for such a close call? The two candidates listed several possibilities.
“We just came out of an ugly national election,” Shadko said.
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Shadko added that some residents might not think their votes mattered and decided not to vote. The voter turnout for this race came in at 31 percent, the highest for all Puyallup candidate races.
31.29 percent highest average voter turnout for Puyallup
The results show that the people of Puyallup are looking for change, said Jacobsen, a current math professor at Pierce College.
“People are discontented,” she said, listing the issue of homelessness, city lawsuits and traffic as reasons.
The Sumner City Council faced a close race of its own for Position 1, which was being vacated by Council member Earle Stuard. Candidate Melony Pederson emerged with a 10-vote victory over Ronald Haines. Voter turnout came in at 32 percent.
“I think we (had) two really good candidates,” said Haines, who has served on multiple boards for local school districts and is a former Sumner business owner. “Sumner is kind of a split community as far how they’re voting and who they’re voting for. Win, lose or draw, it’s not going to change my outlook on Sumner.”
I think we (had) two really good candidates. Sumner is kind of a split community as far how they’re voting and who they’re voting for. Win, lose or draw, it’s not going to change my outlook on Sumner.
Ronald Haines, candidate for Sumner City Council Position 1
“My main focus is always community engagement. I want our government to be accessible in the community, especially for people who might not feel welcome,” Pederson said. “This election has shown that your voice matters. A big thank you for the people who turned their ballots in.”
Both Puyallup and Sumner will also have new mayors. With current Mayor Dave Enslow retiring, Bill Pugh, a retired public works director for Sumner, ran unopposed. He worked in the city for 42 years but was never an elected official. Pugh said running a campaign — even unopposed — was a learning experience, but he enjoyed meeting with people and discussing issues in Sumner.
“It’s nothing as a staff member I haven’t heard in the past, but it’s different when you’re standing up there as an elected official,” Pugh said.
Pugh said candidates for Sumner City Council were “all good.”
“I thought, ‘Wow they’re all good people, so whatever happens it’ll be good for Sumner,’” he said.
In Puyallup, the mayor is determined by council-member seniority. In the race for Puyallup City Council District 1 Pos. 2, retired state Senator Jim Kastama took the win with 62 percent of the vote over incumbent John Hopkins, who currently holds the position and the mayor title. Voter turnout came in at 29 percent in that race.
In January, the Puyallup City Council will vote on who will hold the new title of mayor, as Deputy Mayor John Palmer, District 2, and Councilman Tom Swanson, District 3, have both served on the Council the longest.
The results will be certified on Nov. 28.
Unofficial Puyallup and Sumner election results:
City of Puyallup
Puyallup Council Dist. 1 Pos. 2
▪ Jim Kastama: 1,389 votes, 62.18 percent
▪ John Hopkins: 835, 37.38 percent
Puyallup Council Dist. 2 Pos. 2
▪ Heather Shadko: 1,212 votes, 49.63 percent
▪ Cynthia Jacobsen: 1,221 votes, 50 percent
Council Dist. 3 Pos. 2 Nonpartisan officer 4-year term
▪ Julie L. Door: 1,654 votes, 75.77 percent
▪ Jeremy Hamel: 522 votes, 23.91 percent
Puyallup School District 3 Director Pos. 1
▪ Maddie Names: 10,677 votes, 60.36 percent
▪ Mike Leuzzi: 6,945 votes, 39.26 percent
Puyallup SD 3 Director Pos. 4
▪ Bart Johnson: 4,998 votes, 28.38 percent
▪ Kathy Yang: 12,564 votes, 71.30 percent
Puyallup Municipal Court Judge
▪ Andrea L. Beall: 5,300 votes, 98.66 percent
City of Sumner
▪ Bill Pugh: 1,471 votes, 96.40 percent
Sumner Council Position 1
▪ Melony Pederson: 842 votes, 50.09 percent
▪ Ronald (Ron) Haines: 832 votes, 49.49 percent
Sumner Council Position 2
▪ Kathy Hayden: 1,420 votes, 97.46 percent
Sumner Council Position 3
▪ Barbara Bitetto: 891 votes, 51.56 percent
▪ Steve Allsop: 831 votes, 48.09 percent
Sumner SD 320 Director Dist. 1
▪ Deborah (Deb) Norris: 5,910 votes, 98.24 percent
Sumner SD 320 Director Dist. 5
▪ Erin Markquart: 5,876 votes, 98.49 percent