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Sharp shoots to top of Kent City Council race; Stober, Phillips in tight fight for second | Update
Ken Sharp is easily defeating Barbara Phillips and Bailey Stober in a Kent City Council primary race.
Sharp had 4,037 votes (41.22 percent), Stober 2,877 votes (29.38 percent) and Phillips 2,833 votes (28.93 percent), according to results released Wednesday by King County Elections. Stober trailed Phillips by three votes after the initial count Tuesday.
The two candidates with the most votes advance to the Nov. 5 general election. The three are running for a four-year term to replace Councilwoman Elizabeth Albertson, who decided not to seek re-election.
"I am elated with the results and want to thank my many supporters for all of their hard work," said Sharp in an email Wednesday.
Voters favored Sharp even though Federal Way Police arrested him in June for investigation of first-degree theft in connection with allegedly taking more than $485,000 from the bank account of his 93-year-old mother. King County prosecutors are still reviewing the case to decide whether to file theft charges against Sharp, according to a Tuesday email from Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Sharp owns Minuteman Press in Kent. He served as president last year of the Kent Chamber of Commerce.
The results gave Phillips confidence she will advance to take on Sharp in the general election.
"I'm happy and surprised," Phillips said during a phone interview Tuesday. "I started (campaigning) a little late. I feel we will move right ahead."
Phillips, who is vice chair on the city Land Use and Planning Board, ran unsuccessfully against Albertson for the council in 2009. She said her experience and background in the community gave her a lot of votes.
Stober, who lost a run against incumbent Deborah Ranniger for the Kent City Council in 2011, remained confident he would pull ahead of Phillips to face Sharp in the general election.
"I'm still optimistic about the results," Stober said during a phone interview Wednesday. "I know for a fact that we have a lot of late voters who voted for me."
When Phillips entered the race after the other two candidates, Stober said he figured he could end up second behind Sharp because he and Phillips appeal to voters of similar demographics.
Stober said he expects the race for second might not be decided until the final votes are counted. King County Elections will update results each weekday and certify the primary on Aug. 20.
As far as campaign finances, Stober has raised $6,155 so far, according to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission website. Sharp has raised $3,829. Phillips showed no money raised.
Council members are paid $13,752 per year for their part-time positions.