Ronnie Wright will likely be the next mayor of Oak Harbor and Molly Hughes will continue as the town of Coupeville’s top dog.
In addition, the second count of ballots for the Nov. 7 election shows that North Whidbey voters appear to be happy with the direction of the Oak Harbor School Board. All five of the seats were on the ballot, but only one board member changed because of a vacancy.
Of the many local races on the ballot this year, the contest for Oak Harbor mayor drew the greatest interest. Wright, an Oak Harbor business owner and consummate volunteer, received the most votes among the four candidates in the primary. That popularity carried through to the general election this week.
As of Wednesday night, Wright was ahead of Councilmember Shane Hoffmire by a comfortable margin. Wright had 1,871 votes, or about 54%, while Hoffmire had 1,587 votes, or nearly 46%.
The Oak Harbor City Council will have one new member. In the Position 4 race, Barbara Armes is ahead of John Chaszar. She had 1,736 votes, or nearly 53%, and he had 1,563 votes, which is just over 47%. The seat was vacated by Dan Evans earlier this year.
The contest between Chris Wiegenstein and Andy Plumlee for Position 2 on the Oak Harbor City Council is among the closest. Wiegenstein, an appointed member of the council, had 1,714 ballots cast in his favor, which is about 52%, and Plumlee had 1,581, or 48%.
Tara Hizon and Eric Marshall ran unopposed for their council seats.
The Oak Harbor School Board will have one new member. In the Position 3 race, Josh MacLean is winning against Fred Wilmot. MacLean had 3,429 votes, or 53%. The winner will replace Bob Hallahan, who didn’t seek election.
The other races had much wider margins.
In the race for Position 2 on the Oak Harbor School Board, Jessica Aws, a six-year member of the board, is ahead of challenger Karen Lesetmoe. Aws had 4,010 votes, or 61%.
In the Position 4 race, Nicole Tesch, who was appointed in 2022, is ahead of second-time candidate Jessica Thompson. Tesch had 4,080 votes, or nearly 62%.
In the Position 5 race, Sharon Jensen, who was appointed this year, is ahead of Will Smith. Jensen had 3,622 votes, or 56%.
Lynn Goebel ran unopposed for Position 1 on the Oak Harbor School Board.
The election didn’t change anything in Coupeville municipal leadership. Hughes will continue leading the town. She received 507 votes, or 61%, while challenger Meg Olson had 320 votes, or 39%. Council members Jackie Henderson, Rick Walti and Jenny Bright ran unopposed.
The Coupeville School Board, however, will have one new member filling the seat currently held by Christine Sears, who didn’t run for the position. Charles Merwine is ahead of Leann Leavitt; he had nearly 74% of the vote.
In the Position 4 race, Alison Perera, who was appointed to the seat, is ahead of David Ford. Perera had 61% of the vote.
In a race for Port of Coupeville commissioner, Marianne Burr is ahead of Bradley Duncan. Burr had 2,015 votes, or about 57%, and Duncan had nearly 43%.
In the other port race, John Callahan had 1,932 votes, or 56%. Challenger Angela Ewert had 44%.
In the race for commissioner on the North Whidbey Fire and Rescue Board, TJ Lamont is ahead of Scott Jackson. Lamont had 1,886 votes, or nearly 52%.
It appears that a levy lift proposal for Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue will easily win. Nearly 68% of the ballots were “yes” votes.