Election: Branch and Bell win close races

Lu-Ann Branch has been reelected to the Vashon Park District board in the close race for position 2 on the commission.

Branch, who has held a slight lead over challenger Stephen Evans since results were first announced, retained a lead of more than 200 votes this week, according to results released Monday by King County Elections. There are a little over 100 Vashon ballots left to count in the Nov. 5 election.

Branch has garnered 52.4 percent of the vote with 2,114 votes, while Evans, a patent lawyer whose campaign included a website and a flashing road sign, took 47.2 percent with 1,903 votes.

“I’m glad I survived,” Branch said on Monday. “I think it says something about my style of leadership on the board.”

Scott Harvey and Doug Ostrom were also elected to the park board, beating incumbent John Hopkins and Robin Magonegil, respectively.

Branch said she is looking forward to seeing new faces on the board, as she and Hopkins often voted together on topics such as district spending but often were unable to outvote the other three commissioners.

“My approach has been different than that of my colleagues in a lot of ways, but I haven’t been able to be successful because I’ve been in the minority,” she said.

In the race for an open seat on the board of Water District 19, Jenny Bell has been elected. On Monday, Bell, who owns a water consulting business, had 55.2 percent of the vote with 589 votes. Challenger Mark Graham, a Burton Water Company employee, garnered 44.3 percent with 473 votes.

Bell could not be reached for comment.

Of about 8,150 registered voters on Vashon, about 5,110 returned ballots this fall, a 63 percent return rate. The election will be certified on Nov. 26.

— Natalie Martin