Ralph declares victory in Kent mayoral race

Dana Ralph will succeed three-term Mayor Suzette Cooke, who decided not to seek re-election. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Dana Ralph will succeed three-term Mayor Suzette Cooke, who decided not to seek re-election. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Dana Ralph officially declared victory on Friday in her mayoral race against Jim Berrios.

“Today we are declaring victory in our race to become the next mayor of Kent,” Ralph said in a press release issued Friday afternoon.

Ralph had the early lead of 52-47 percent Tuesday night when King County Elections first released results. Through Thursday’s count she had slightly increased her lead. Ralph has 52.9 percent (7,642 votes) while Berrios has 47 percent (6,800 votes). Both are City Council members.

Ralph will replace Mayor Suzette Cooke, who decided not to seek re-election after 12 years in office.

“I want to thank my family for standing by my side as we fought incredibly hard to make this happen,” Ralph said. “My husband Shawn has been tireless in working for the campaign. My boys have shared their mom even more than usual to allow me to campaign. My mom has been a constant inspiration and reminder to keep pushing forward.”

Ralph, in her first race for mayor, continued to acknowledge others.

“I want to thank my campaign team who laid out a plan that matched my vision and ensured we fought for every last vote,” she said. “Most importantly, I want to thank the voters of Kent. Together, we have laid out and supported a vision for what we want Kent to be over the next four years. I am truly honored and humbled by the faith and trust you have placed in me to lead our city forward. We have a lot of work to do but with your support and partnership I am confident we will get the job done.”

Ralph also commented about Berrios.

“I want to thank my opponent, Councilmember Jim Berrios,” she said. “Jim has been a dedicated public servant in Kent and I hope his work continues for many years to come. I look forward to working with him to continue to serve the families of Kent.”

With her victory, Ralph’s ready to move forward.

“We have a lot of work to do and no time to waste, so ensuring we are ready to govern is my top priority in the coming weeks,” she said. “I look forward to partnering with Mayor Cooke for a smooth transition of power between now and January. I also want to thank Mayor Cooke for her service and leadership over the past several years. I am looking forward to getting to work.”

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