Clay pulls ahead of Piazzon

After having a skinny two-vote lead in the initial count Tuesday evening, incumbent Bob Clay has expanded his advantage over Gary Piazzon in a race for a spot on the Coupeville Town Council.

An Auditor’s Office update Thursday afternoon showed Clay had received 51.84 percent of the votes while Piazzon received 48.16 percent. Clay was leading by 21 votes, 296 votes to 275. Tuesday night, the margin was only 199 to 197.

Clay wasn’t surprised to see such a tight contest.

“It’s about what I’d expected. I thought it would be a close race,” Clay said after learning of the updated count.

One thing he learned from the race is that people want more information on how the Town Council arrives at a decision. He said if he is reelected, he will work to improve the information given out to the community.

Piazzon is taking a wait and see approach to the vote counting, which will continue into next week.

“It’s fluctuating a bit and it’s still a tight race,” Piazzon said. He said he is pleased with the voters who participated in the election adding the environmental issues he focused on resonated with them.

While the race between Piazzon and Clay is a close one, it doesn’t look to be close enough to trigger a mandatory recount. For that to happen the difference has to be less than 150 votes and less than one fourth of 1 percent of the total votes cast for both candidates, according to the Revised Code of Washington. As of Friday morning, election workers had approximately 4,000 votes countywide to count. Coupeville is only a small portion of that. The election results aren’t final until the Island County Auditor certifies them Nov. 27.

There will apparently be one new face on the Coupeville Town Council.

Ann Dannhauer has a comfortable lead over incumbent Marshall Bronson, who was seeking a fourth term. She was leading Bronson with 57.22 percent of the vote.

“I’m very happy,” Dannhauer said. She is looking forward to helping finish several projects currently undertaken by the town, such as the shoreline management plan and historic preservation regulations.

Bronson was saddened by the results of the election. He declined to be interviewed but provided a written statement.

“It has been a great pleasure to have served the people of Coupeville for the past 12 years. I think that during that time the town, its infrastructure and the community have grown and improved,” Bronson said. He also wished Dannhauer success in her first public office.

Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard had no trouble retaining her job. She was leading challenger Gordon Burton with 64.7 percent of the vote.

One other Coupeville Town Council seat was contested this year. Incumbent Molly Hughes was leading her challenger Roxallanne Medley with nearly 61 percent of the vote.

On the Port of Coupeville, incumbent Benye Weber looks like she’ll retain her seat. She leads Dennis Parbs with 57 percent of the vote.

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