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Woodards appears to have mayor’s race won; Merritt acknowledges it’s likely over

Tacoma mayoral candidate Jim Merritt, right, appeared to concede the race to Victoria Woodards on Thursday. Woodards’ Election Night lead had grown with each subsequent vote tally.
Tacoma mayoral candidate Jim Merritt, right, appeared to concede the race to Victoria Woodards on Thursday. Woodards’ Election Night lead had grown with each subsequent vote tally. dperine@thenewstribune.com

Tacoma mayoral candidate Jim Merritt appeared to concede the race to former councilwoman Victoria Woodards on Thursday night, ending what proved at times to be a divisive, contentious campaign to replace Mayor Marilyn Strickland, who is term-limited.

“Thousands of doors knocked. Thousands of phone calls made. Over a thousand yard signs displayed. From the bottom of our hearts — Thank you for everything,” his campaign team wrote on Merritt’s Facebook page. “After a long battle, the results are beginning to come in. While there are many days left until the election is certified, Jim is not likely to win enough votes by the end to become the next mayor of Tacoma.”

Merritt did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Woodards said Merritt called her shortly after the latest results dropped Thursday. They showed her Election Day lead of four points burgeoning to eight points. Woodards had 18,291 votes compared to Merritt’s 15,518.

“He was very kind and wished me good luck,” Woodards said.

There are still more ballots to count, the auditor’s office said, and official election results won’t be certified until Nov. 28.

Candice Ruud: 253-597-8441, @candiceruud

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