MOUNT VERNON — The race to fill the at-large position on the Sedro-Woolley City Council was close Tuesday after early results were released from the primary election.

Sedro-Woolley Chamber of Commerce President Pola Kelley has the early lead in the three-person race with 337 votes.

“I want to serve,” she said. “I really do.”

Kelley, Jared Couch and and Mary Andersson are running to replace Brett Sandstrom, who chose not to seek re-election.

After more votes are counted and the primary election is certified Aug. 15, the top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 7 general election.

Kelley said she was cautiously optimistic. On Tuesday night, fewer than 40 votes separated her and her two opponents.

Couch has 307 votes and Andersson 305.

“I honestly expected it to be a tight race because I think all three of us bring so many different things to the table,” said Couch, an Upper Skagit Indian Tribe police officer. “I’m going to remain positive.”

Andersson, a Sedro-Woolley Public Library employee, said she was not concerned about the early results and that it was too early to comment further.

Sedro-Woolley City Council Ward 3

The race for the seat in Ward 3, which includes areas southeast of Highway 20 from Rhodes Road to Haines Avenue and an area north of Highway 20 between North Sapp Road and North Reed Street, remains tight, with fewer than 10 votes separating the three candidates.

Incumbent Brenda Kinzer, who is running for her second term, leads the race with with 51 votes.

“I’m happy with my race,” Kinzer said. “I’m surprised at who it appears my running mate is going to be.”

The top two vote-getters after the primary election is certified Aug. 15 advance to the Nov. 7 general election.

Retired banker John “Dennis” O’Neil is in second place with 42 votes.

O’Neil said Tuesday he did not want to comment other than to say it was too early in the race to tell the final outcome.

Friendship House Executive Director Tina Tate said she is disappointed to be in third place, but was hopeful future tallies might turn in her favor.

“The City Council works well together and I think that people have to work together to make things progress,” Tate said. “I really want to be part of that. I really want to help the city grow and I think I bring a lot to the table.”

Sedro-Woolley School Board Position 4

Eric A. Johnson, who is running for the board position that represents residents around Mary Purcell and Evergreen elementary schools, took a strong lead in the primary race.

Johnson received 1,076 votes — or about 49 percent of the total — in his three-person race.

He said he was humbled to be leading.

“I’m a little blown away,” he said. “I wasn’t really expecting to be in the lead. I was going to be happy with a solid second, just getting through to the general (election).”

The top two vote-getters after the primary election is certified Aug. 15 advance to the Nov. 7 general election.

Despite his lead, Johnson said he was not taking his participation in the general election for granted.

“They’re both solid opponents,” he said.

Wendie M. Granberg had 659 votes and Pamela Santangelo 368.

Granberg said it was too early to comment on the race but that “all candidates have worked hard.”

Port of Anacortes, District 1

After the first vote count, Ken Goodwin carries a commanding lead in the three-person primary race with 728 votes.

Allen Workman has 299 votes and Matthew Plier 184.

The top two vote-getters after the primary election is certified Aug. 15 advance to the Nov. 7 general election.

The candidates are vying to replace Ray Niver on the Port of Anacortes commission. Niver chose not to seek re-election.

Island Hospital Levy

Based on early results, voters in the hospital district narrowly support a measure to increase the hospital district property tax by 31 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.

As of Tuesday night, 2,609 voted for the measure and 2,506 voted against.

Should the measure pass when the election is certified Aug. 15, the levy dollars will go toward upgrades such as medical equipment and facility improvements, not toward employee salaries.

The hospital district — Skagit County Hospital District 2 — includes residents of Guemes, Cypress, Sinclair and Fidalgo islands, excluding those who live on the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community reservation.

Skagit Transit Annexation

The voters of Precinct 144, just south of Mount Vernon, voted heavily against annexation into the Skagit Transit District.

As of Tuesday night, 64 people voted for and 125 people voted against.

Annexation would result in a 0.4 percent sales tax increase on businesses in the precinct to help provide for public transportation.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141,, Twitter: @Kera_SVH,

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