Eidinger elected Edgewood’s first ‘strong’ mayor

Daryl Eidinger
Daryl Eidinger

Edgewood voters finally know who will be the city’s first “strong” mayor, three weeks after the primary election and a week after a narrow margin triggered a mandatory recount.

Daryl Eidinger defeated Federal Way business owner Wendal Kuecker by 10 votes — 1,104 to 1,094.

Eidinger, a pastor and Edgewood City Council member since 2010, narrowly held his lead since election results first dropped Aug. 4.

The 68-year-old formerly was the council-appointed mayor before the city shifted to a strong-mayor form of government.

The change of government was the result of a voter-approved measure last year. Previously, a city manager ran day-to-day operations of the city, duties that now fall to the elected mayor.

Former City Manager Mark Bauer ended his employment with Edgewood on March 31 amid the transition.

Eidinger, elected to a four-year-term, said he wants to finish the work he’s started in Edgewood.

During the campaign he touted a commitment to thoughtful growth-management planning and preservation of the city’s rural character. He said transparency and communication were two areas he wants to improve.

Eidinger said Tuesday that he’s ready to do the job that Edgewood voters elected him to do.

“We have a lot of division in this city, as you can tell by the closeness of this race,” Eidinger said. “I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

The new mayor will be paid $1,300 a month.

The Pierce County Auditor’s Office finished counting ballots Aug. 18. The margin between the candidates was nine votes, which was close enough under state law to require a machine recount.

Mandatory recounts are required for nonstatewide races when the difference between two candidates is less than 2,000 votes and less than one-half of 1 percent of the total number of votes cast for both candidates.

Elections Manager Mike Rooney said the auditor’s office sorted ballots by hand Monday, pulling 2,249 Edgewood ballots from about 93,000 cast countywide, before conducting a machine recount.

The results were certified Tuesday.