Voters embrace change

Incumbents had a rough week at the polls, with Poulsbo Mayor Kathryn Quade and Councilwoman Kim Crowder trailing challengers with most ballots counted.

Councilwoman Becky Erickson, who spent two years on the council before challenging Quade, leads 53.7 percent to Quade’s 45.7 percent, according to results released Thursday afternoon.

Erickson had 1,365, compared to Quade’s 1,161 votes.

Former Councilman Jim Henry, who was bumped from his seat by Erickson, holds a slight lead over Crowder, 50.4 percent to 49.3 percent.

Henry had 1,214, compared to Crowder’s 1,186 votes.

Erickson’s lead struck Quade as likely insurmountable following the first release of election results Tuesday.

“I have to say I’m disappointed,” Quade told supporters. “But I’m not disappointed in the effort we put out.”

Quade said if the tally holds, she would work to ensure a smooth transition of power.

“We gave it a good run,” Quade said. “I’m proud of what I’ve done.”

“I’m surprised there is this much of a spread,” Erickson said Tuesday, assuming her lead would be more modest. “But I worked hard for this. Everyone in this room worked hard for this.”

As of Thursday afternoon, almost 3,000 of Poulsbo’s 5,000 registered voters had returned ballots, according to the Kitsap County Auditor’s Office.

Countywide voter turnout was expected to be about 50 percent, but about 59.9 percent of Poulsbo voters cast ballots, said Elections Manager Delores Gilmore. Almost 50 ballots were challenged because of non-matching signatures or other problems.

Ballots can still trickle in before the election’s certification Nov. 24.

Despite the relatively close numbers, especially in the Henry-Crowder race, officials don’t expect to count many more ballots.

“It will just drop off to a handful between now and certification,” Gilmore said.

Following the Thursday afternoon vote count, Gillian Gregory had earned 52 percent of the vote in the race the North Kitsap Fire and Rescue Commission’s Position 4.With 5,152 votes counted, Gregory had collected 2,687 while Scott Henden trailed with 2,427.

C. Joyce McClain had scooped up 72.3 percent of the 379 votes cast in the Port of Eglon commission race, outpacing Marcus Croman.

Herald reporter Tad Sooter contributed to this article.

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