A slew of races for city of Ocean Shores offices saw a high level of voter interest in the 2023 general election compared to other races in the county, with voter numbers hovering around 1,850 ballots in each race after Tuesday’s initial count, a higher number than have been tabulated so far for the Aberdeen mayor’s race.
In the Ocean Shores mayor’s race, challenger Frank Elduen is in the lead. Elduen, a current member of the Ocean Shores City Council, holds a 246-vote margin over incumbent Jon Martin. Out of about 1,850 ballots tabulated, Elduen has garnered 57% of the vote, while 43% of people have voted for Martin.
Elduen did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily World Wednesday morning but addressed supporters in a Facebook post.
“Thank you to everyone that supported me,” Elduen wrote. “You all made a difference. I want to give a special thanks to my wife, Kerin. She is the best and did so much to help me in this mayor’s race.”
Martin acknowledged the wide gap he faced after Tuesday’s count.
“I’m pleased with the race that we ran,” Martin said in an interview Wednesday. “The voters of Ocean Shores have made the decision. I’m positive that Frank will do well.”
In the race for Position 2 on the Ocean Shores City Council, Thomas Taylor has a 125-vote lead over Bob Peterson. Taylor has 53% of the vote to Peterson’s 46%.
“Even though the results are not final, I want to say thank you to everyone who supported me over the past few months,” Taylor wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday morning. “I am grateful and I am honored.”
Taylor did not respond to The Daily World’s request for comment by press time Wednesday.
Peterson, a former Ocean Shores city councilor, said he was “disappointed” with initial results.
“But then again, there’s still another count to go, so there is some hope. It didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, as far as the whole election, but it is the people’s choice. That’s democracy,” Peterson said.
In the closest Ocean Shores City Council race on the ballot, Susan Conniry holds a 16-point lead over Lisa Griebel, both of whom are vying for Position 3.
“We remain confident with the initial results and look forward to working with Frank Elduen,” Conniry wrote in an email on Wednesday.
Less than 1% of the vote separates the two candidates, with Conniry garnering 50.2% of the vote and Griebel at 49.45%.
“I look forward to the next count and remain optimistic,” Griebel said in an email on Wednesday. “Even if I don’t win, I remain committed to community involvement with a huge dose of positive and respectful problem solving.”
In the Position 4 race, incumbent Alison Cline has the largest lead in any city of Ocean Shores race, holding a 17% point and 301-vote lead over challenger Caroline Emmert.
“I was thrilled to see my results,” Cline said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I hope my numbers stick, because there’s a lot I still want to see happen in Shores.”
“Nothing is certain until the auditor says, ‘This is the certified end result,’” she added.
Cline has 58% of the vote to Emmert’s 42%. Emmert did not respond to The Daily World’s request for comment by press time on Wednesday.
Slim margins constitute the race for Position 6, where Peggy Jo Faria has a 31-vote lead over incumbent Richard Wills. That lead constitutes less than 2% of the vote, with Faria at 50.7% and Wills just shy of 49%.
Faria did not respond to The Daily World’s request for comment, and Wills declined to comment on the race until further ballot tabulations take place Thursday afternoon.