Earle Stuard, a member of the Sumner Planning Commission, shot ahead of incumbent Sumner City Council member Ed Hannus, capturing 40.72 percent of the Aug. 6 primary election vote as of Friday afternoon.
The two advanced to the general election in November for the Position 1 Sumner City Council seat. Hannus collected 24.19 percent of the vote despite a voter turnout of less than 20 percent, according to the Pierce County Auditor’s office.
“I feel great,” said Stuard, who plans to doorbell in different areas of town that he wasn’t able to reach during the primary campaign season.
Of 445,539 registered voters, 88,304 ballots had been counted as of Friday, according to the auditor’s office.
The Sumner City Council was one key race, along with the Position 4 seat on the Puyallup School District’s Board of Directors.
Stuard said he’ll reach out to other primary candidates Jody Wilkins and Melody Pederson to seek their endorsement of his campaign.
“I think Jody and Melody have great ideas,” he said. “We all come from the same perspective, that it’s time for a little bit of a change (on council). I know they’re very interested in getting input from the public regarding council actions, and that is very important to me as well.”
Wilkins and Melody finished with 14.63 and 19.97 percent of the vote, respectively.
Hannus said he recognizes he is in the No. 2 spot for the Position 1 race, but he’s not letting it bother him.
“I feel fantastic about that,” he said. “When we come to the finals, we’ll do much better.”
One thing he hopes will be different is that the auditor’s office will include his work experience, education and community experience in the general election voters’ pamphlet.
“I do have a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University and a master’s equivalent from University of Colorado in management analysis,” Hannus said.
Hannus’ background is in transportation engineering. For 14 years, he worked as a project manager for the state Department of Transportation. Outside of work history, Hannus is a member of the Sumner Rotary Club and the Sumner Historical Society, and he served as a volunteer Sumner firefighter for 14 years.
“I am really interested to continue serving the citizens of Sumner,” Hannus said. “I have the best intention to keep Sumner a good place to raise a family.”
Stuard said he will continue to reach out to people and let them know his thoughts and ask what issues are important to them.
“Some people get animated in what is important to them,” Stuard said. “I promise to work hard to find solutions that work for everybody.”
Hannus said he supports of the sale of the Sumner Golf Course and is excited to welcome the new YMCA. One thing he does not favor of is the prospect of coal trains going through town and their impact on access for emergency vehicles that need to cross the train tracks.
If Hannus is re-elected, he said he will work hard to make sure something positive is done about the Red Apple lot in downtown Sumner.
In the Puyallup schools race, Kathy Yang captured 44.82 percent of the vote.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Yang said. “I was pleasantly surprised and grateful for all the support I’ve gotten.”
Yang said Karen Edwards is very capable with good ideas and is a worthy opponent. Edwards came in second in the primary with 35.25 percent of the vote.
“I plan to get out there and meet as many people as I can and talk about my priorities and listen more to what people are saying,” Yang said.
If Yang is elected, she said she said a top priority would be to address why the school bond failed.
“We need to reassess where the money is going and do a public evaluation to see why it didn’t pass and why people didn’t even vote,” she said.
Edwards said her biggest emphasis moving forward will be to advocate for the inclusion of more innovative programs in elementary classrooms. She said she would like to see science, technology, engineering and math curriculum there.
“I’ve met with some local groups that are willing to help us with that,” Edwards said. “People are really interested in STEM programs for elementary-age students. They agree that we don’t have any specialty programs in the elementary schools.”Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.