Berrios appreciates campaign’s effort in Kent mayoral race

Jim Berrios speaks at an election rally on Nov. 7 at the Golden Steer restaurant. STEVE HUNTER/Kent Reporter

Jim Berrios speaks at an election rally on Nov. 7 at the Golden Steer restaurant. STEVE HUNTER/Kent Reporter

Jim Berrios had hoped for a different outcome in the Kent mayoral race but believes his campaign did everything it could to try to defeat Dana Ralph.

“The results did not come out like we hoped they would,” Berrios said in a phone interview Monday. “I think our campaign did a good job of doing everything it needed to do. We ran a clean campaign – we just didn’t quite make it.”

Ralph won with 53 percent of the vote to 47 percent for Berrios in a clash of Kent City Council members. In January, Ralph will replace Suzette Cooke, who decided not to run again after 12 years in office.

Berrios has about six weeks left on the council as his four-year term expires at the end of the year.

Voters elected Berrios to the council in 2013 when he defeated Wade Schwartz. He ran for mayor in 2009 against Cooke. He served on the Kent School Board from 2007 to 2011.

Berrios plans to keep busy with community events. He and his wife, Suzanne, are gearing up for their annual Thanksgiving Day feed at the Golden Steer Steak n’ Rib House they own on the East Hill. Berrios also is vice president of the Green River College Foundation Board.

Berrios said he tried reaching Ralph by phone three times last Tuesday night after King County Elections released the results, but he didn’t reach her directly and left a voicemail. She returned his call but missed him.

“We’ve not connected,” he said.

When asked how Ralph will do as mayor, Berrios responded:

“I’ll tell you after the first six month,” he said before he added – “I think she’ll do a good job.”

Berrios has a couple of more city budget workshops and council meetings before his term ends.

“We’ve got a budget we need to come to terms with – that’s basically it,” Berrios said about his final weeks as a council member.

Berrios wanted to get out one more message since his mayoral campaign wrapped up.

“I appreciate all of the support I received from the community,” he said. “Suzanne and I met some really neat people during the campaign.”

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