Leading city, schools candidates solidify margins as elections office updates tally

November 4, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 4:45 p.m. Nov. 4, 2009

City Council candidates Tola Marts and Maureen McCarry, and school board hopeful Marnie Maraldo, strengthened leads in unofficial election returns released 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Marts led opponent Nathan Perea by 915 votes in the latest batch of returns released by King County Elections. Incumbent McCarry widened the gap between challenger Joan Probala to 1,588 votes. In the school board contest, 2,371 votes separated Maraldo from opponent Wright Noel.

King County Elections released the first unofficial returns at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, and more tallies will be posted Thursday afternoon. Though additional ballots could still shift the results, Perea, Probala and Noel would need to see stunning reversals to prevail.

The elections office predicted 56 percent of King County voters would cast ballots, though turnout appears sluggish. In the City Council races, only 36 percent had been returned to the elections office and tallied by Wednesday afternoon. In the schools race — which includes voters in parts of Sammamish and Renton — the total was lower: 30 percent.

The other Issaquah races on the ballot produced no surprises: Mayor Ava Frisinger and incumbent Councilwoman Eileen Barber were re-elected unopposed. Frisinger, first elected mayor in 1997, will begin a fourth term in January. Newcomer Mark Mullet won a City Council seat unopposed, and will became the first Issaquah Highlands resident to serve on the seven-person board.

Voters also elected school board member Chad Magendanz — who was appointed to the board last October — to the seat Tuesday. Magendanz was unopposed in his school board bid.

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