Story updated Nov. 13
The first-term incumbent mayors of Aberdeen and Hoquiam won’t be getting a second.
Friday afternoon, after the updated count of general election ballots, challenger Pete Schave led incumbent Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson 1,521-1,241 — 54.81% to 44.72% — with 13 write-in votes.
In Hoquiam, longtime councilman Ben Winkelman led incumbent Mayor Jasmine Dickhoff 992-740 — 57.08% to 42.58%.
“I’m happy,” said Schave. “I’m glad it came out this way. I wasn’t making any calls until tonight, but I have won and I am the mayor-elect. Right now I’m thinking mostly about the issues, I’m well aware of them and well experienced in what’s going on. We have a tough road ahead,” but he feels more than up to the challenge.
“Pete Schave has been elected the new mayor of Aberdeen and I wish him all the best,” said Larson. “Once again, it’s been an honor to serve the city for the last four years, and while I will not be in office, I’m certainly not going anywhere,” restating his pledge to continue working for the city in which he works and lives.
“I spent the week telling people to hold off because I felt Jasmine did a really good job of running her campaign,” said Winkelman. “I’m looking forward to being the mayor and I’m sure Jasmine and I will be working on projects together for many years to come.”
Dickhoff congratulated Winkelman on her Facebook page, and told The Daily World: “It has been an honor to serve and I am proud to say we made measurable progress in my time served. I sincerely wish mayor elect Ben Winkelman the very best. Hoquiam deserves wonderful things and I have faith they will continue to come.”
Winkelman added he hoped the citizens, regardless of whose campaign they were behind, will now come together to work toward the good of the city.
“Our community all needs to work together, and I hope to see that,” he said.
Aberdeen, Hoquiam City Council
There will be five new faces on the Aberdeen City Council come January, as four of five incumbents did not seek to retain their seats and some political newcomers will be taking their places.
One race is too close to call, the Ward 2, Position 3 contest between Nathan Kennedy and David Gakin. After Friday’s count, Gakin holds a six-vote edge over Kennedy, 157-151. Gakin thought a city administrator was not needed in Aberdeen, while Kennedy said he felt it would be a good investment. This seat is currently held by Kathi Prieto.
Ward 1, Position 1, currently held by James Cook, will be filled by Shaney Crosby. She defeated Robert J. Rodgers 217-158 — 57.41% to 41.8%. Both candidates said during their campaigns they were against the idea of a city administrator and the city needs to work more closely with the community to address the homeless issue.
For Ward 3, Position 6, currently held by Jeff Cook, Kati Kachman has defeated Dave Deakin 288-163 — 63.44% to 35.9%. Kachman supports the city’s efforts to hire a city administrator, while Deakin said during the campaign he feels the city would be better suited with a full-time mayor.
Debbi Ross won the election for Ward 4, Position 8, currently held by Margo Shortt. Ross defeated Tara Mareth 416-295 — 58.1 % to 41.2%. Ross said prior to the election she supported a city administrator, while Mareth said that was something that should be discussed after the election. Both agreed partnering with neighboring cities, the county and the state was the best approach to the city’s homeless situation.
Joshua Francy ran unopposed for the Ward 5, Position 9 seat currently held by Schave. The only incumbent to seek reelection this year was Dee Anne Shaw in the Ward 6, Position 12 seat, and she ran unopposed.
In stark contrast to the Aberdeen council, the Hoquiam City Council had six incumbents running unopposed: Dave Wilson Sr. in Ward 1, Steven J. Puvogel in Ward 2, Shannon Patterson in Ward 3, Bredna Carlstrom in Ward 5, and Dave Hinchen and Elizabeth Reid in Ward 6.
The only contested Hoquiam City Council race pitted Jamie C. Brand against Al Dick, and Dick defeated Brand 220-118 for the seat currently held by Winkelman. Brand said the housing crisis was the most pressing need the city faced, wile Dick said the shrinking tax base was a primary concern. Both supported the city’s efforts to attract the BHP potash facility to the Port of Grays Harbor.
Aberdeen School Board
Incumbent Jennifer Durney defeated challenger Jeremy Wright, 1,921-1,301, for the Position 1 seat. Suzy Ritter bested Thomas “TJ” West ,1,888-1,043, in the Position 2 race. For the Position 3 seat previously held by Jeff Nelson, Jessica Jurasin appears to be the winner, leading William “Doc” Carter, 1,685-1,465. Last month, the Aberdeen Education Association endorsed Durney, Ritter and Wright.