Callison, Emerson ahead in first ballot count for Langley mayor; Born, Gardner lead in hospital race

The first batch of primary election results was tallied Tuesday and showed Tim Callison and Sharon Emerson leading the three-way race for Langley mayor.

Callison captured the most votes with 160 — 44.69 percent — while Emerson amassed 134 votes — 37.43 percent — according to online results posted on the Island County Auditor’s Office website.

“I feel very good and am very grateful for all the support I’ve gotten from the community,” said Callison, who was celebrating the results over a crab dinner with friends.

He said he believed the results indicated his vision for Langley was shared by many in the community, and was grateful for their support.

“I’m really, really humbled by the whole thing — I’m quite pleased,” he said.

Emerson was also celebrating at home with friends and supporters. She said she was expecting to make it through the primary but didn’t know what the results indicated from voters. She added that she was looking forward to the months ahead.

“I’ll just continue to stand for what I stand for, and that will either resonate with voters or it won’t,” she said. “Either way it’s fine.”

Challenger Thomas Gill, a Langley city councilman, claimed 17.88 percent of the vote — about 64 votes.

If Callison and Emerson hold their leads, they will move on to the November general election, Nov. 3, to vie for the mayor’s seat. The position is currently held by Fred McCarthy, who decided not to seek reelection.

The position carries a four-year term and pays $55,000, not including benefits.

The first count also showed Rob Born and incumbent Georgia Gardner ahead in the race for Position 2 on the Whidbey General Hospital board. Born had a healthy lead with 46.45 percent of the vote — 3,858 votes — compared to Gardner’s 37.76 percent — 3,136 votes.

Also vying for the position was Rita Drum. She had 1,311 votes, or 15.79 percent.

According to the auditor’s office,  a total of 13,671 ballots had been counted as of Tuesday evening. The next count is Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and the election will be certified Aug. 18.