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Preliminary election results show Nixon and Sternoff take lead for Kirkland City Council positions
The 2011 election season was marked by two contentious races for Kirkland voters to sort through. Preliminary results Tuesday night show only one challenger in the lead, with Toby Nixon ahead of incumbent Jessica Greenway.
King County Elections has counted 26 percent of the possible 48,000 ballots sent out to registered voters.
Nixon, a former State Rep. and annexation resident, holds a slim 51-48 percent lead as he challenges the two-term incumbent for Position No. 4. Nixon could become the first city council member from the the annexation area neighborhoods of Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate.
"I'm very grateful to the people of Kirkland for their support," said Nixon over the phone from his Kirkland home, where campaign supporters, family and friends were gathered to celebrate the victory.
"We'll be anxiously awaiting further counting for the rest of this week," he continued. "I'm guessing by Thursday we'll see if this 3 percent margin is going to hold up. I'm just very grateful for everybody who worked hard and those who voted for me."
For Greenway, she is used to being behind early and has not given up hope.
"We're all stressed out because we are behind," said Greenway from her house with family, friends and supporters. "I am used to a close election."
Greenway said that in the 2006 election she had to wait for two weeks to see if she would gain another term.
"We expected the early votes to favor my opponent and the later votes for us," said Greenway. "We were out doorbelling until late Sunday night. But that has always been the strategy for my campaign."
Greenway said that she knew the race would be tougher this time because of the increased size of the city thanks to the annexation.
The other annexation area resident on the ballot, Jason Gardiner, is losing to incumbent Bob Sternoff 53-47 percent in preliminary results.
"He's ahead of me right now, as the results come in it will solidify more," said Gardiner. "Hopefully I'll win, but the outlook doesn't look good. I've got a 5 percent margin to make up."
Bob Sternoff could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Position No. 2 has been held by Sternoff for two-and-a-half terms but the incumbent is also fending off a so-called smear campaign on his actions on the council.
Concerned Citizens of Kirkland wanted Sternoff voted out of office for an email scandal that took place nearly two years ago.
Councilman Dave Asher was nearly assured of four more years on the council as his challenger, Jim Hart, dropped out prior to the general election. Asher, who was first elected to Position No. 6 in 2000, earned 65 percent of the vote.
King County Councilwoman Jane Hague will get another term serving the 6th district as she looks to have defeated challenger Richard Mitchell of Mercer Island with 54 percent of the vote.
Hague was instrumental in the annexation of the Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate neighborhood from unincorporated King County into the City of Kirkland in June. Hague has served 18 years on the council.