Results from Walla Walla’s first ward-based City Council election are in, with two resounding wins and one race that candidates are still calling close.
Sharon Kay Schiller, who was unsuccessful in her race against Susan Smiley-Nakonieczny for West Ward, Position 5, quickly left the Walla Walla County elections office Tuesday night as around 10 candidates and their friends and family were still reviewing the results.
Smiley-Nakonieczny won with 1,739 votes, or 55%. Schiller had 1,374 votes, or 43%, according to the preliminary election results.
“I wish the best for Sharon, she did a good run, and would like to thank all of my supporters, they were wonderful,” Smiley-Nakonieczny said.
With Smiley-Nakonieczny’s victory, she said she has to do research.
“I am going to be reading a lot and looking at the data,” she said.
She said she is thrilled to get to work with some great leaders of Walla Walla and has had a great experience and learned a lot throughout this race.
Ted Koehler was another candidate with a smile on his face as he read the results Tuesday at the courthouse.
In the race for the East Ward Position 4, seat, Ted Koehler is ahead with 1,744 votes, 55%, against James Powell, who received 1,377 votes, or 43%, according to preliminary results.
Powell was not ready to concede this morning, as there are still a substantial amount of ballots to be counted.
There are still 2,490 ballots left to count. Walla Walla County plans to do another tally on Friday, but election results will not be certified until which will be announced on Nov. 26.
“However this shakes out, the East Ward is still winning,” Powell said.
Powell will continue to be involved in four subcommittees in Walla Walla including Commitment to Community and the group overseeing the Community Development Block Grant.
Both Powell and Koelher were very complimentary of each other.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better opponent,” said Powell.
“First, my thanks to James Powell for running a fair and honest campaign,” Koehler said.
Koehler thanked his family and supporters for helping him in his campaign.
“I’m humbled and grateful and ready to represent the East Ward seat 4 on the Council and the community as we work toward enhancing our already wonderful town,” he said.
Koehler is looking forward to collaborative projects with the new Neighborhood Engagement Program and would like to work with the Sustainability Committee to lower costs of energy for residents while also lowering the city’s footprint.
Later in the night, Julian Saturno, who was running for the at-large position against incumbent Steve Moss, turned up in a bright blue suit looking for Steve Moss, who won.
Moss maintained his lead over Saturno for the at-large seat with 2,417 votes, or 71%, against Saturno’s 948 ballots, or 28%, according to the Walla Walla County Auditor.
“I am excited to get all our heads together to make a dent in things,” said Moss.
Moss said he is happy to continue the Council’s work in resolving the ambulance system, community policing, fixing streets and water lines and working with developers to resolve more affordable housing issues.
“I am very humbled by the great support, you just never know how things could turn out,” he said.