With a victory in his Kent City Council race, John Boyd moves on to be the one who will replace 20-year incumbent Les Thomas.
As Thomas, who didn’t seek reelection, completes his final year, he has become the longest serving council member since Kent became a city in 1890.
“Replacing a giant is hard, so I’ll do my best for the residents of our great city,” Boyd said in a Nov. 14 email. “That said, we have a lot of opportunities for positive change. I look forward to getting things moving in my own way.”
Boyd, a 27-year resident of Kent, defeated Kelly Wiggans-Crawford on the Nov. 7 ballot. Boyd has received 58.47% (9,189 votes) while Kelly Wiggans-Crawford received 41.08% (6,456 votes), according to results released Nov. 13 by King County Elections with only a few more ballots to count.
“Losing is hard,” Wiggans-Crawford said in a Facebook post. “Losing so resoundingly is even harder. What is humbling is the support of all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Boyd retired in 2022 after 37 years at Boeing after serving in the U.S. Navy.
“Relieved, and so genuinely excited to be chosen to serve our great city,” Boyd said about his victory.
He pointed to several reasons for his win.
“My ability to listen to people and tune into their needs,” he said. “We have a lot of things that we can do better in Kent, and we have to do right by our people. We were out in the field talking to voters about the issues they face daily in their communities.”
Boyd has several primary goals as he soon begins his four-year term next year, including a focus to reduce crime.
“We must ensure that we have adequate public safety measures in place, and that means ensuring that our response times are low, especially with violent crime, and that everyone feels safe,” he said.
Reducing homelessness looms as another goal.
“Addressing and preventing the causes of homelessness is also a big priority for me, and in doing so, bringing more housing to Kent by incentivizing affordable housing development,” Boyd said.
Boyd seeks more help for people fighting drug and mental health problems.
“We also have an addiction and mental health epidemic that we need to get a handle on,” Boyd said. “We must utilize the community’s resources to provide human and safe treatment services for those suffering. Treatment options, affordable, and permanent supportive housing options depending on their need.”
Boyd wants to create more job opportunities.
“Finally, economic development and job growth, we need to ensure that all residents of Kent can enter into grainful employment, whether that is through college eduation, technical, or trade school, everyone should have opportunities for gainful employment in Kent,” he said.
Residents can expect Boyd to find his own role on the seven-member council as he replaces Thomas, first elected by voters in 2003.
“As the torch gets passed, you will continue to see good progressive changes in Kent that will benefit all,” Boyd said. “We are closing the chapter on Les’ body of work, which is enormous, but people will see me as my own man in this seat. I look forward to carrying that torch on.”
Boyd will be the only new member on the council as incumbents Marli Larimer and Zandria Michaud easily defeated their challengers and incumbent Bill Boyce ran unopposed.
Larimer, in her sixth year on the council, had 79.80% (12,360 votes) while Jessie Ramsey had 19.82% (3,070 votes), according to King County Election results released Nov. 13. Michaud, reelected to her second four-year term, received 68.77% (10,624 votes) while Darryl Jones had 30.88% (4,770 votes).
Boyce will start his fourth term in 2024 after voters first elected him in 2011.
The terms of Toni Troutner, Brenda Fincher and Satwinder Kaur expire the end of 2025.