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Snohomish showdown for strong mayor has key figures from Prop. 2 fight
In council primaries, Dana and Caldwell advance; Countryman clobbers Reyes

SNOHOMISH — John Kartak and Karen Guzak will move forward to November’s election in the race to be the city’s first executive “strong” mayor in 40 years.
The other two candidates in the four-way primary,
Derrick Burke and Elizabeth Larsen, were passed up by a large margin in the latest results as of press time.
As of press time Monday, Aug. 7, Kartak had 1,032 votes, Guzak 772, Burke 300 and Larsen 249.
Burke, a city councilman, will go on elected political hiatus after December since his council term will end and he chose to run for mayor instead of for his council seat.
After a summer of campaigning for the primary,
Kartak, 51, a semi-retired general contractor and Guzak, 78, a current city councilwoman and yoga teacher, will now be focusing on winning the votes of Snohomish residents in the general election.
Snohomish hasn’t had a strong mayor since 1972.
This year’s strong mayor position was created following a contentious election season last year with Proposition No. 2 on the ballot asking voters if they wanted the city government to change to a strong mayor or form of government.
Spearheading Prop. 2 were people from the CPR-Snohomish group, in which Kartak, a founding member, acts as secretary. Meanwhile, Guzak,who was then the weak mayor of Snohomish chosen by her fellow city councilmembers, led the charge against Prop. 2.
With these two political opposites set against one another once again in another election season,
Guzak and Kartak will press forward to November.
Voters passed Prop.2 by nine votes, then 11 following a re-count.
Neither Kartak nor Guzak returned calls to the Tribune by deadline to discuss the August primary results.


Council races
Steve Dana and Lisa Caldwell are advancing over third contender Meagan Gray to the general election in November.
The vote numbers as of press time were counting 1,024 votes for Dana, 633 for Caldwell and 571 for Gray, which was no major trend shift from the initial results on the first night of ballot returns. 
City Council position no. 7 is being vacated by Mayor Tom Hamilton in December. 
Dana, 67, a realtor who has served on the City Council before in the 1990s and was the weak mayor for three years, had told the Tribune last month he could offer “stability”in the changing times for the city government as it transitions to a strong mayor form. Caldwell, 52, who is a sales and marketing manager and former
Snohomish Rotary Club president, had told the Tribune in July she could offer “lightness” to the City Council during the changing government structure. 
The two longtime Snohomans will face off for November, aiming to earn the votes that had been cast for Gray.
Caldwell and Dana were among the seven who put their hat in the ring to take up an appointment to replace ousted Councilman Zach Wilde, Councilman Jason Sanders was appointed to the seat.
City Council position No. 6 will have former City Councilman Larry Countryman versus newcomer Eric Reyes, Countryman led Reyes by a large margin with 1,419 votes to 606 as of press time. Third challenger Dale Preboski, who had backed out of campaigning because of health reasons but remained on the ballot, picked up 188 votes in the primary.
The council seat is being vacated by longtime councilman Dean Randall.
The Aug. 1 primary saw more than 2,400 voters casting their ballots. Snohomish has 6,221 registered in-city voters. 
As summer turns to fall, the campaigns for City Council will gain momentum for the general election, which is Tuesday, Nov. 7. 



 

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