The city of Edmonds has a new mayor, and he’s one familiar with Edmonds politics.
Dave Earling, an Edmonds City Councilman from 1992 to 2003, is soundly beating incumbent Mayor Mike Cooper by a two-to-one margin in initial returns. Earling has tallied 66 percent of the vote (5,599) and looks to become the city’s 37th mayor. Cooper has 33 percent (2,802).
Earling will assume office as soon after the election is certified on Nov. 29.
After the elections results were posted, Earling was asked how he felt: "Great so far!" he said.
Earling said that his first priority as mayor would be to stabilize the community.
"Edmonds citizens need to feel good about their government, that it reflects the values and standards of the community," he said. "One aspect of this is financial stability. We need to take aggressive steps now to ensure the long-term financial health of Edmonds and avoid the need for budget cuts. In addition, we need to stabilize the current staffing situation and generally set a new tone and higher standard for city government that reflects that of the community it serves."
Late Tuesday night, Earling released the following statment:
"I deeply appreciate this strong show of support from voters in Edmonds. I look forward to serving as mayor to deliver that new leadership and begin tackling the challenges we face as a community. This has been a long but rewarding race. I have been encouraged by so many conversations with voters with citizens across our town. But I am especially thankful for the hard work and enthusiasm of so many supporters, as well as my family, who made this effort possible.
"For now, I want all of us to respect the fact Mike Cooper is mayor until the election is certified. I look forward to a smooth transition for the people of Edmonds ... Thank you Edmonds!"
Cooper was seemingly hurt by in the city. In the primary, Earling beat Cooper by a smaller margin, 53 percent to 39 percent.
"The results certainly don't look good for me," Cooper said. " I am proud of the accomplishments I made while being mayor, but the voters look like decided on change."
Election results will be updated on Wednesday between 4 and 5 p.m. Results are not final or official until certified. Nov. 29 is the last day for the Office of the Secretary of State to certify the returns.
Republican Earling, 68, ran on a platform of change for the status quo of Edmonds, which has been rocked in recent month by internal strife between Cooper’s executive assistant, who resigned, and HR director Debi Humann, who Cooper fired.
Earling previously spent 12 years on the Edmonds City Council and earlier this year resigned after five years on the Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board to run for mayor. He is currently president of Senior Services of Snohomish County.
Earling was previously a residential real estate business in Edmonds. He currently lives near Perrinville with his wife, Susan, and the two have three children and two grandchildren.
Cooper, 59, replaced Gary Haakenson as mayor last summer after Haakenson resigned to become Deputy Snohomish County Executive. Cooper was appointed Edmonds mayor in July 2010, stepping down from his position as Snohomish County councilman, after Mayor Gary Haakenson left to become Snohomish County deputy executive.
Haakenson was mayor for a decade, the third longest term in Edmonds history behind Herve Harrison (1968-93) and Fred Fourtner (1937-49).
Patch writer Larry Vogel contributed to this report.