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Stober plans to seek vacant Kent City Council seat

Bailey Stober hopes the Kent City Council picks him to replace seat vacated by Ken Sharp. - Kent Reporter, file photo
Bailey Stober hopes the Kent City Council picks him to replace seat vacated by Ken Sharp.
— image credit: Kent Reporter, file photo

Bailey Stober plans to seek the Kent City Council seat that became vacant when Ken Sharp resigned.

Sharp defeated Stober by 272 votes in the November election. Sharp resigned Thursday after just two weeks in office because of his pending first-degree theft charges for allegedly stealing $297,500 from his 93-year-old mother's bank account and moving the money to his account.

"Now that Mr. Sharp has resigned from the council I am excited to announce my intent to seek the seat," Stober said in an email. "It is in my greatest hope that the council will respect the will of the voters, the same voters that elected them to office. A total of 8,024 voters, 43 elected officials, the Kent Firefighters and at least a dozen community groups have made it clear – they would like me to represent them on the Kent City Council."

Stober, a project analyst with the Washington State Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises, said the close loss to Sharp shows many voters support him.

"I have had the honor and privilege of meeting thousands of voters over this past year as I ran for the Kent City Council, " Stober said. "We came so close to winning the election – in fact it was one of the closest elections in Kent’s history. Having lost by only 272 votes I believe the residents of Kent showed strong support for both candidates and I respect the will, knowledge and judgment of the voters."

Stober lost a Kent City Council race at age 20 in 2011 to Deborah Ranniger, who is midway through her third four-year term.

"I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Ken Sharp for his service to the city of Kent," Stober said. "I believe Ken took the appropriate steps to help bring our city together and move us forward."

Stober said he will meet with council members over the next couple of weeks to share his vision and hopes for Kent. He said residents can find out more about him at baileystober.com.

Council President Dana Ralph said she is working with the other five members to determine how to fill Sharp's seat. State law does not set out any specific procedure except that the new appointment must occur within 90 days.

The person appointed by the council will serve until an election for the seat in November 2015, according to city officials. The appointed council member also will be eligible to run for the position. The elected individual would take office as soon as the election is certified.

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