Solla, Tolbert 30 votes apart in Council race
August 27, 2008 · Updated 4:58 PM
ARLINGTON With only 30 votes separating them, incumbent Scott Solla has a narrow edge over challenger Barbara Tolbert in the race for Arlington City Council Position 3.
This race has proven to be the closest of all the races involving local candidates in the Nov. 6 election. As of Nov. 10, the Snohomish County Auditors Web site had reported that Solla led Tolbert by 50.29 percent to 49.37 percent, or 1,640 votes to 1,610 votes. With only 11 write-in votes for Position 3, accounting for 0.34 percent of the vote, the Position 3 race received 3,261 votes, the highest turnout of any of the city of Arlington candidates races.
Both Solla and Tolbert shied away considering the race finished, but they nonetheless expressed gratitude to their supporters and the community as a whole.
Im still waiting for all the ballots, Tolbert said. Its been kind of exciting. I cant remember an election being this close anywhere in the county. In the meantime, Ive just been working and planning my usual projects. I hope we got a voter turnout of at least 50 percent, and that the mail-in system didnt discourage too many voters.
According to the Auditors site, there was a voter turnout of approximately 47.88 percent countywide.
Solla was in no rush to claim victory, but he expressed a cautious optimism about the outcome so far.
I do want to thank all of the citizens who have put their trust in me, Solla said. If it turns out that Im on top, Ill continue to work hard to fulfill that trust, by looking out for the best interests of the community and facing the challenges of the years ahead. I think both Barbara and I knew this would be a tight race. Its been interesting.
In the second-most closely contested race in Arlington, incumbent Graham Smith led challenger Virginia Hatch by 54.13 percent to 45.40 percent, or 1,761 votes to 1,477 votes, for the City Council-at-Large position. With 15 write-in votes, making up 0.46 percent of the vote, the Council-at-Large race received the second-highest turnout of the city races, with a total of 3,253 votes.
Of the city of Arlington candidates running unopposed, City Council Position 6 member Dick Butner received 2,920 votes and 99.05 percent of the vote, out of a total of 2,948 votes cast for Position 6, while City Council Position 5 Marilyn Oertle received 2,916 votes and 98.88 percent of the vote, out of a total of 2,949 votes cast for Position 5, and the remainders of those votes going to write-in candidates. Out of a total of 3,168 votes cast for Arlington Mayor, Margaret Larson received 97.95 percent of the vote, or 3,103 votes, with the rest going to write-in candidates.
While City Council Position 3 member Sally Lien was technically running unopposed, candidate Blair Anderson withdrew from the race too late for his name to be removed from the ballot, and he received 1,118 votes, or 34.74 percent of the vote for Position 3. Out of a total of 3,218 votes for Position 3, Lien received 2,089 votes and 64.92 percent of the vote, with the rest going to write-in candidates.