Race for Edgewood’s first strong mayor remains tight

The race for Edgewood’s first strong mayor is a close one.

The latest primary election results Thursday showed Daryl Eidinger leading Wendal Kuecker by 13 votes. Eidinger leads Kuecker 1,090 votes to 1,077.

As the margin stands now, it doesn’t appear a recount is imminent. But if the gap shrinks to 10 votes, state law would require a machine recount. It would have to drop to five votes to force a manual recount.

The race is the only one in Pierce County to be decided in the primary election.

It follows a change of government measure that was narrowly approved by voters last year.

The shift from a council-manager form of government to a strong-mayor system was spurred by a citizen-led effort that was apparently aimed at ousting former City Manager Mark Bauer, who ended his employment with the city amid the change March 31.

Eidinger served as the council-appointed mayor before the transition.

Kuecker owns a Federal Way property management business.

Both candidates support the new system of government, and both say they’re committed to thoughtful growth-management planning and preservation of the city’s rural character.

The winner will serve a four-year term running daily operations in the East Pierce city of about 9,400, duties that previously fell to a city manager.