Incumbent candidates in the race for Oak Harbor City Council will keep their seats following Tuesday’s election as Councilman Joel Servatius extended his thin lead.
Opinions vary, however, on whether there’s meaning in the numbers when it comes to the tense relationship between the council and mayor. Among the four candidates for whom Mayor Scott Dudley campaigned, only Councilman Jim Campbell won.
Dudley said the vote was not a referendum on his leadership, but the product of hard work on behalf of incumbents.
“Those that campaigned and campaigned well were successful — period,” he said.
Servatius said he believes the results are a message from Oak Harbor voters.
“The majority of the people are confident in the people who are in place,” he said.
Servatius has edged further ahead of challenger Sandi Peterson. He led by just 60 votes on election night, but extended his lead to 164 votes with Thursday’s count.
Servatius has a total of 2,088 votes, which is 52 percent, while Peterson has 48 percent.
Councilman Bob Severns won the most votes among the eight candidates running for four council seats. A total of 2,390 balloters were cost in his favor, which equates to 58 percent. Challenger Lucas Yonkman won 42 percent of the vote with 1,709 votes.
Campbell also earned 58 percent of the vote in his race against challenger Skip Pohtilla. Campbell received 2,218 votes while Pohtilla got 1,723.
Councilman Danny Paggao won his sixth term on the council with 2,266 votes, or 56 percent, while challenger Mike Piccone received 1,751 votes, or 44 percent.
Island County Deputy Auditor Michele Reagan said Thursday that all of the “countable ballots” are tallied, but she expects a few stragglers to come in the mail.
Incumbents did well in other contested races. Oak Harbor School Board member Corey Johnson will also keep his seat. He prevailed over challenger Bill Burnett by a margin of 64 percent to 36 percent.
Port of Coupeville Commissioner Mike Diamanti, who was appointed to the seat, won over challenger Richard Bowen. Diamanti has 57 percent of the vote.
Bill Larsen also earned a seat on the Port of Coupeville commission. He beat Jim Patton, the current port director. Larsen won 53 percent of the vote while Patton received 46 percent.
In addition, Cheryl Engle, longtime commissioner for Central Whidbey Fire, won in a landslide over challenger Stanley Anderson. Engle received 72 percent of the vote.