Jon Mutchler has beat Cathy Watson to become the next mayor of Ferndale.
Mutchler had 52 percent and beat Watson by 104 votes, according to the tally released Friday afternoon, Nov. 5. The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office has counted all but about 100 ballots in the county; the results will be certified Nov. 24.
Mutchler will replace current mayor Gary Jensen, who endorsed Mutchler as his successor. Jensen ran for Port of Bellingham commissioner but lost.
I lost. I’m not sure what else to say.
“I don’t think it means a big course change for the city,” Mutchler said Friday. “I’ve embraced most of the values my predecessor has had, which is always putting the citizens and community first, being open-for-business minded, and always being sensitive to the opportunities we have for the city.”
Watson conceded the election once the counts were released Friday night.
“I lost,” Watson said. “I’m not sure what else to say.”
She said she is concerned that Mutchler spent over $12,000 on his campaign, including donations from Lummi Indian Business Council and Whatcom GOP. Watson said she limited herself to spending $5,000 of her own money on her campaign.
“I’m worried about the future,” Watson said. “Do you need to make a partisan race out of a nonpartisan decision?”
Teresa Taylor, a project manager for Lummi Indian Business Council, beat Paul Ingram for the position four seat on City Council. She won by 62 votes, according to Friday’s count.
Neither Taylor nor Ingram could be reached by phone Friday.
City Council will have to entrust a new member to serve the rest of Mutchler’s term now that his seat will be vacated for the final two years. The current City Council members will make a call for applicants, and the incoming council will make a decision in January 2016, said Riley Sweeney, communications officer for the city.
Watson’s seat on City Council expires at the end of the year. Watson said Friday that she would think about pursuing the open seat, but right now the former NASA meteorologist and aerospace engineer will be focusing her attention on helping kids with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math activities.
Sweeney said it is possible that the council appoints her to the position vacated by Mutchler.
Two candidates who ran unopposed will take the other seats. Greg Hansen, the son of current council member Mel Hansen, took his father’s seat. Rebecca Xczar won the seat vacated by Watson.
Mutchler said he likes the new faces on City Council. The key issues moving forward, he said, are developing Slater Road and Main Street thoughtfully, and respecting the citizens of Ferndale.
Reach Wilson Criscione at 360-756-2803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.