Yelm City Council incumbent EJ Curry led Tuesday’s primary race for Position 1 with 47.3 percent of the vote, just ahead of challenger James Blair who holds a close second and will also advance to the general election in November.
Curry received 285 votes while Blair got 251 (41.8 percent). Lanakila Washington, the third candidate in the race, tallied 61 votes, according to the Thurston County Auditor’s Office.
Curry told the Nisqually Valley News on Tuesday night she is pleased to see the results of the primary and is ready to start working toward a general election victory.
“I’m happy. I’m very happy,” she said. “I’ll doorbell again to everybody and I’ll do whatever it takes. I’m ready to go.”
Curry also said she was disappointed to see the low voter turnout and implored citizens to get more active in their local elections. Voter turnout was estimated at 19.7 percent.
“Research both candidates, get involved, call me, come to a city council meeting,” she said. “I would really like people, if they’re going to run for city council, to come to a month of study sessions … It’s a lot of time, a lot of effort.”
Blair said he was excited to see the initial results. He was encouraged after seeing he was a mere 34 votes behind Curry.
“It’s gonna be cool,” he said. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but it’s looking pretty good right now.”
Going into the general election, Blair said he plans on doorbelling more, a campaign strategy he admits he hasn’t pursued enough. He said he’s hoping his record will speak for itself.
“It’s pretty clear where I stand on certain things and I’m not scared to talk to people. (I’ll) just stick to myself, where I stand on stuff. If people like that, then we’ll see in November,” he said.
The Position 1 seat serves on a seven-person city council that legislates city policy.
Primary election results will be certified Tuesday, Aug. 20.
The two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 5.