As the 2013 election season winds down, one of the most strongly contested Mountlake Terrace City Council races featured efforts by the two candidates to put their best face forward and push for a positive spin from the media.
Position 5 incumbent Bryan Wahl has spent more than $6,000 in signs, mailings and telephone polling in his effort to hold on to his appointed city council seat. Wahl used results from the poll, paid for by his campaign and which showed that respondents believe jobs and the economy should be the top priority of local elected officials, as proof that he would be the voters’ better choice for the city council position.
“These results confirm what I am hearing as I meet with our neighbors throughout the city,” Wahl said. “They tell me they are excited about the direction of the city and thrilled to see new businesses and economic development occurring throughout the city, particularly in our Town Center.”
“Clearly, our citizens want a candidate that will keep Mountlake Terrace moving forward, creating jobs and economic development opportunities and adopting responsible, performance-based budgets,” he added.
Leonard French, the challenger for Position 5, has also blitzed the area with campaign signs, in addition to talking one-on-one with voters in the city. During these final days of the campaign season, though, French has been taking on the Herald newspaper, calling a recent blog by political writer Evan Smith on the newspaper’s website “blatantly misleading if not openly dishonest.”
On Oct. 31 the Herald posted that Snohomish County Republicans had endorsed Wahl over French in the city council race, a claim that French says isn’t true. “The Republican Party has not endorsed anyone in our non-partisan races,” French said in emails to Smith that were copied to MLTnews.
Smith responded to French that the information on party endorsements came from a “conversation with someone at the Snohomish County Republican office,” but French isn’t buying the explanation. “Party ‘endorsements’ are the result of a process involving many members of the party. No single individual, no matter in what position of party prominence, has the authority to pledge the party’s support,” French countered in an email.
Both candidates are expected to be seen around town during the final two days of the campaign.
The winner of the race between Wahl and French will begin serving in the council position immediately following the county certification of the election results, expected around Nov. 26. The winner will serve for what would have been the remaining two years of a term initially begun by former council member Michelle Robles, who resigned in 2012.
Ballots must be postmarked or deposited in a county election drop box by Tuesday, Nov. 5, in order to be valid for the general election.
— By Doug Petrowski