One race drew closer but the outcome remained the same as voters returned three incumbents to the Kent City Council and elected one newcomer.
Incumbent Les Thomas led challenger Hira Singh Bhullar by about 11 percentage points after the first general election results were released Nov. 5 by King County Elections. A week later, Thomas had 52.16 percent (11,593 votes) while Bhullar tallied 47.5 percent (10,560), according to results released Nov. 12. Thomas will be back in January to begin his 17th year on council.
Incumbents Bill Boyce and Marli Larimer also will return next year. Boyce had 65.77 percent (14,530) while Mizan Rahman had 33.92 percent (7,493). Larimer received 55.67 percent (12,023) while Todd Minor had 44.02 percent (9,506).
Zandria Michaud will be the only newcomer to the seven-member council. She had 58.11 percent (12,421) while Awale Farah tallied 41.19 percent (8,804).
The city of Kent has 64,645 registered voters. A total of 24,821 voters returned ballots through Nov. 11, a turnout of 38 percent, according to King County Elections statistics.
Positions on the council are considered part-time jobs and pay $15,564 a year.
Boyce, the council president, will start his ninth year in office in January. Larimer will begin her second year. The council appointed Larimer in 2018 to replace Tina Budell, who moved to Chicago for a new job.
Michaud will replace Dennis Higgins, who was appointed by the council to finish out now-Mayor Dana Ralph’s term, but decided not to run. Because Michaud will replace an appointed council member, she actually will take office after King County certifies the election on Nov. 26. Michaud’s first regular council meeting will be Dec. 10. She also will participate in a council Committee of the Whole meeting on Dec. 3.
Voters elected Higgins to four-year terms in 2009 and 2013. His final regular meeting will be Nov. 19, which will conclude his 10 years in office.
Council members Brenda Fincher, Toni Troutner and Satwinder Kaur each have two years remaining on their terms, which expire the end of 2021. Mayor Ralph has two years left on her first term.