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City Council Turnover?: Wilcox, Bloom, Yamamoto and Stern Leading

The City Council may soon have a new look.

Edmonds voters appear to have decided to clean house in the City Council.

Although results releaed tonight are just initial, with more to be released Wednesday, Bob Wilcox, Joan Bloom, Frank Yamamoto and Darlene Stern are leading their races.

Council position 4: Bob Wilcox leads over incumbent 55-year-old Diane Buckshnis by 50.06 percent to 49.59 percent of the vote. He leads by just 38 votes, 4,080 to 4,042. It would be the first elected position for the 59-year-old Wilcox, who owned and was president of Wilcox Construction in Edmonds for 25 years. He retired in April 2010.

"I'd rather be holding onto a lead than trying to catch up," said Wilcox about the close race, similar to the earlier primary. "We ran a positive campaign, and I discouraged anybody from saying anything negative. That's the way I look at life, and that's the way I'll look at the council."

Buckshnis says it's an even race and she's looking forward to the latest results. She says late votes in the primary drew her even closer to Wilcox, and she expects the same now. "It's unpredictable right now."

Council position 5: Newcomer Joan Bloom leads incumbent D. J. Wilson with 50.28 percent to 49.37 percent of the vote (3,977-3,905). Wilson, 35, might have been hurt by resolution last week by the Edmonds City Council to censure him for a personnel dispute between the City of Edmonds and , the former executive assistant to Mayor Mike Cooper. Bloom, 60, runs the citizen group Edmonds Forum.

"I was hoping for it to be close, but I don't know if I expected it to be close," Bloom said. "I didn't put very much money in the campaign; it was mini-reporting, $5,000 or less, and I understand my opponent put a lot more money and had a lot more signs and probably a lot more door-belling. I didn't expect it to be this close and I'm very glad."

Council position 6: Frank Yamamoto, 65, was expected to win easily over Alvin Rutledge, 70, a longtime presence at City Council meetings. Yamamoto received 69 percent of the vote to Rutledge’s 31 percent (5,297-2,383). Yamamoto owns Running in Motion on Main Street.

Yamamoto said he had several priorities. "Getting our financial house in order. Building a realistic workable budget. Getting the strategic plan on the ground and implemented. Building consensus on the council."

Council position 7: Darlene Stern is ahead in her first elected position, with 51.3 percent of vote; her opponent, 49-year-old incumbent Lora Petso, has 48.3 percent (4,001-3,764). Stern, who is 65, is the wife of former Edmonds Police Chief David Stern, who died in 2007.

Stern said she is "cautiously optimistic" about the close results.

If elected, she said her priorities are to "work to repair basic infrastructure and ensure that money is spent wisely and that the budget is managed responsibly."

Patch writer Larry Vogel contributed to this report.

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