Anacortes mayor race

From left, Matt Miller, Ryan Walters and Tammy Guffey.

ANACORTES — Anacortes City Council members Ryan Walters and Matt Miller are poised to move on to the November general election in the race for Anacortes mayor following Tuesday night’s primary.

Fewer than 200 votes separated Walters and Miller after an initial vote count.

Walters received 2,523 votes, about 50% of the vote, and Miller sat in second with 2,345 votes, about 46% of the vote.

First-time candidate Tammy Guffey was in third place with 196 votes, about 4% of the vote.

Mayor Laurie Gere did not seek election for a third term.

Walters, 41, a City Council member since 2012, is a former deputy prosecuting attorney for Skagit County and is the planning director for the Samish Indian Nation.

“I think that voters embraced a forward thinking, positive vision and a compassionate message among the candidates that they voted for,” Walters said on Tuesday night.

Walters said affordable housing, child care and living wage jobs will help ensure Anacortes is not just a retirement community.

“I definitely think (voters) connected to my platform of ensuring we continue to have a whole community in Anacortes,” he said.

Miller, 55, an Anacortes City Council member since 2014, is a retired Navy pilot and former small business owner.

“I’m humbled by the support I’ve received and look forward to moving on and working to continue to convince the voters that I’m the right person to be the next mayor,” he said.

Miller said his ability to bring a balanced perspective to issues stood out for voters. He said he understands how government budgets work along with what it takes to run a small business in Anacortes.

“I’m pretty happy where we are and (hope to) take the momentum to November,” he said.

There are an estimated 2,000 ballots left to count countywide. The Skagit County Elections Department is set to release the next election update on Thursday afternoon.

As of Tuesday, the countywide voter turnout was about 21%.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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