UPDATE, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 3:30 p.m.: Toby Nixon, a former state legislator and resident of the annexation neighborhood of Kingsgate, has been declared the winner of the Nov. 8 general election race for Kirkland City Council Position 4, unseating incumbent Jessica Greenway.
King County Elections certified the final official results Tuesday morning, with Nixon taking 50.3 percent of the 24,814 ballots cast to Greenway’s 49.4 percent, a margin of 196 votes.
Greenway, a two-time council member from the Norkirk neighborhood, called Nixon Tuesday afternoon to congratulate him. She took the loss hard, choking back tears as she said she was planning to take a break, but would remain involved in civic life.
“It’s a loss for me, but it’s been an incredible honor for the past eight years,” she said. “I love Kirkland, so I’ll stay involved. I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’ll figure out the right niche for me. I’m happy it was close; we ran a great campaign.”
Considered a progressive, Greenway was a champion of affordable housing and recycling, serving as chair of the Metropolitan Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee. Before being elected to the council in 2003, she served for two years on the city’s Planning Commission and nine years on the Park Board.
She said her loss was likely due to a combination of an anti-incumbent sense among voters and annexation, which took effect on June 1 and boosted Kirkland’s population from about 49,000 to more than 80,000.
“Annexation brings big changes, and this might be the manifestation of that,” she said. “These are tough times, and I trust our council and great city staff to navigate them.”
Patch declared the more conservative Nixon the winner Monday evening after an update in the count by King County Elections. On Tuesday he thanked voters and Greenway.
“I thank Councilmember Greenway for her many years of faithful service to the city and for a hard-fought but civil campaign. I look forward to continuing to work with her, since I know her love of the city will not allow her to just sit back and relax any more than would mine,” Nixon said. “I’m humbled by how close the vote was and affirm once again that as a councilmember I will do my best to represent and consider the interests of everyone in Kirkland, including all neighborhoods old and new, without regard to who they might have supported in the campaign.”
Nixon urged Kirkland residents to contact him with ideas and concerns and promised to work with them
“I look forward to learning from and working together with the other members of the City Council, the members of the Houghton Community Council, our great volunteer members of boards and commissions, the city manager and staff, and all the citizens of Kirkland, to make our city an even better place to live, providing the services we need at a cost we can afford, with the ethics, transparency, and accountability we expect and deserve,” he said.
Former state legislator Toby Nixon of Kingsgate has unseated incumbent Jessica Greenway of the Norkirk neighborhood to win a seat on the , according to the final vote totals released Monday evening by King County Elections.
The final count showed Nixon with 50.3 percent of the ballots cast (10,653) in the race for council Position 4, compared to 49.4 percent (10,457 ) for Greenway -- a margin of 196 votes.
Patch is declaring Nixon the victor, even though the vote will not be certified by elections officials until some time Tuesday.
Nixon was not declaring victory Monday evening. He said that as far as he could determine, those who cast ballots that elections officials contested for mismatched signatures could still return verification forms to King County Elections until 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, and there could be as many as 300 of them.
"I am encouraged that we picked up about 11 votes in this latest count," Nixon said. "But we still have no idea if or how many signature verification forms (Greenway) might have turned in today."
The winner will take office on Jan 1.
Patch is attempting to contact Greenway for comment and will update this story as soon as as possible.