Marine, Gregerson top 2 in primary

By Sara Bruestle | Aug 14, 2013

Joe Marine and Jennifer Gregerson will face off in the November election for Mukilteo mayor.

Mayor Marine had a strong lead in the race with 1,721 votes, or 39.80 percent. City Councilmember Gregerson followed with 1,379 votes, or 31.89 percent.

The top two vote-getters in the primary advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

Marine and Gregerson outpaced City Councilmember Steve Schmalz, who received 1,152 votes, or 26.64 percent of the vote, according to results released by Snohomish County Elections around 4 p.m. Friday. He fell about 230 votes short of advancing.

Marine, 50, serving his second term, said he expected to make it to the general election – and with Gregerson.

“It’s about leadership and results,” he said. “I’m very proud of what my administration has accomplished in the last eight years. We’ve dealt with a number of controversial issues and come through.”

Gregerson and Schmalz said their combined votes show that the majority of Mukilteo voters want a change in the mayor’s office.

“The fact that the mayor only got 40 percent doesn’t bode well for him,” Schmalz said. “I think the message from the voters is pretty clear. There are a lot of people dissatisfied with the current leadership in the city.”

Marine, however, said he isn’t concerned.

“When I come into a job, I want to make a difference,” he said. “I want to make it better than when I found it. I can say that certainly about Mukilteo. I’m about results.”

Of his accomplishments, Marine cites these: the renovation of Lighthouse Park and the construction of a new City Hall and community center.

Gregerson, 35, has served as a councilmember since 2004, including two years as council president. This is her first run for mayor.

She said the primary results are what she had expected, as well.

“I’m honored to have the chance to continue the conversation in the general elections,” she said. “I’m committed to Mukilteo.”

In her campaign, Gregerson said she has a different vision for Mukilteo’s future.

“We have different priorities,” she said. “For one, we’re spending a lot on a full-time mayor and city administrator, yet we don’t have an HR manager.”

In addition to hiring an HR (Human Resources) manager for city employees, as mayor she said she would review some of the more recent tax increases to try to find a way to ease the financial burden on residents.

Schmalz, 48, was elected to council in 2011 and is serving his first term. This was also his first try for mayor.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed I didn’t get enough votes to move on,” Schmalz said. “But I still have a voice on the council, and I’m still going to continue to represent the citizens’ best interests.”

Even though he didn’t make it past the primary, Schmalz said the message in his campaign got through to voters – that the city needs to balance its budget without raising taxes, stop deficit spending and become more transparent in government.

“How it plays out in the general election, that’s anybody’s guess,” he said.

As of Aug. 9, the write-in votes counted were at 72.

Another 21 ballots won’t be counted: Three voters left the mayoral race blank and 19 others over voted, meaning they marked their top two picks instead of just one.

The next results will be released at 5 p.m. on Aug. 16. The election will be certified on Aug. 20.

See up-to-date election results at http://www.snoco.org/elections/results/ecurrent.htm.

Here are the current standings after Friday’s count:

 

CITY OF MUKILTEO MAYOR

 

Vote Count             Percent

Steve Schmalz        1,152                      26.64%

Joe Marine              1,721                      39.80%

Jennifer Gregerson 1,379                      31.89%

Write-In                    72                          1.67%

Total                       4,324                      100.00%

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