By Nicholas Johnson

Come November, Mayor Jimmy Matta will face challenger Mark Dorsey while Deputy Mayor Krystal Marx will likely face challenger Stephanie Mora.

“At 29 percent, I’m pretty happy,” Marx said Tuesday evening while celebrating at a rooftop election party in downtown Burien along with Position No. 1 candidate Hugo Garcia, Position No. 3 candidate Charles Schaefer and Position No. 5 candidate Sarah Moore.

“I was really impressed to see Stephanie’s numbers, as well, and I look forward to a good race in the general,” Marx said.

The two Position No. 3 candidates (Matta and Dorsey) were essentially tied at 43 percent in the initial vote count Tuesday night, with Matta being ahead by 16 votes.

“I am grateful for the clear message that Burien residents have sent to my opponent,” Dorsey said Wednesday morning. “They are not going to be swayed by big-interest dollars; they are smarter than that. They want change; They want the city councilmember who is going to prioritize Burien and focus on the issues that matter most to Burien.”

Matta could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

When reached at about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, Mora said she had not yet seen the results.

Fellow Position No. 7 candidate John White claimed 18 percent of the initial vote tally compared with Mora’s 22 percent.

“I’m rooting for Stephanie,” said White, who congratulated all candidates who are moving forward to the general election after Tuesday’s primary.

“Her thoughts on things are pretty much the same as mine, so I’m happy that she’s moving forward.”

Position No. 3 candidate Charles Schaefer claimed 13 percent of the initial vote tally, ending his bid to unseat Matta. Schaefer also ran for city council in 2019 and 2017, losing in the primary both years.

Schaefer said he appreciates everyone who voted for him, adding that he was “baffled” by Dorsey’s strong showing in the primary.

“He came out of nowhere,” Schaefer said. “A week ago we all thought Mark Dorsey was dropping out, and then he says he’s still in it, but then we also never saw him at any candidate forums. I think I’m going to call him up and see if he wants to get a beer. I would love to meet the guy.”

Schaefer said he’s not ready to endorse either Matta or Dorsey.

“I like Jimmy, but we all know what we’re getting with Jimmy,” he said. “I’m not ready to throw my hat toward either one of them.”

With 55 percent of the initial vote count, Position No. 1 candidate Martin Barrett will face candidate Hugo Garcia, who claimed 42 percent of the vote. Fellow Position No. 1 candidate Abdifatah Mohamedhaji garnered 2.5 percent of the vote.

“I’m excited to get through to the general,” Garcia said. “As a first generation immigrant candidate, it’s humbling to see so many people voting in support of me.”

For Barrett, Tuesday’s results show that his canvassing efforts are paying off, he said Wednesday.

“I feel like I’m going into the second half with a much better feel for what the residents of this city care about,” said Barrett, who noted that he has knocked on some 5,700 doors and had more than 2,000 conversations with Burien residents over the past several weeks.

“It’s going to take just as much work in the general,” he said. “I’m not slowing down; I’m eager to get back out there and meet more of my neighbors.”

Mohamedhaji could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Position No. 5 candidate Sarah Moore received 44 percent of the vote to face Alex Simkus, who garnered 42 percent. Fellow Position No. 5 candidate Georgette Reyes claimed 12.6 percent.

Position No. 7 candidate Patty Janssen claimed 15 percent despite having dropped out of the race in July. Also in Position No. 7, Elissa Fernandez garnered 8 percent, while John Potter received 7 percent.

Some 5,011 Burien ballots were counted Tuesday night (Aug. 3), accounting for 16.7 percent of registered voters in the city. As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, King County Elections had collected some 7,565 ballots from Burien voters, or 25 percent of registered voters in the city, and that figure is expected to grow in the coming days as Election Day ballots are collected from drop boxes and more come in via postal mail.

For comparison, Election Day returns for Burien during the 2019 primary came in at 18.28 percent, which grew to 31.6 percent once all votes were counted. During the 2017 primary, Election Day returns in Burien came in at 18.05 percent, then rose to 31.3 percent once that election was certified.

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