Cero wins close race for Council Pos. 3

After nearly two weeks of vote counting, Mike Cero has maintained about a 200 vote lead over his opponent for City Council Position 3 and he has claimed victory in the close race.

As of the last count before Reporter deadline on Friday, Cero held a 194 vote lead over Maureen Judge. A total of 8,922 votes out of the 15,604 registered Island voters had been counted, or 57 percent.

Since the Nov. 6 election, the vote had been close. While the margin between the two had shrunk to as low as 150 last week, Cero’s lead widened again a few days later.

“I am excited to take over and get into the thick of it,” he said. “I hope to have meetings with other Council members and find ways to be mutual supportive.”

Cero, 44, trailed Judge after the primary by about 500 votes. In the August primary there were four candidates seeking the spot on the Council. As the top two vote-getters, Cero and Judge advanced to the November election.

Cero, a war veteran and West Point graduate, said he thought the contest would be a very close, 50-50 race, even after the primary.

“I always looked at it as a nose-to-nose horse race,” Cero said. “Maureen ran an excellent and professional race. I think the campaign was a very good experience for me an my family and I am thankful for all the support from Islanders.”

He said he plans to keep a close eye on the issues raised during his campaign.

“While I think the urgency has been reduced,” Cero said regarding the Renton Airport, “it has remained an issue. There will be a time when 737 production moves and we need to plan for that. This issue will remain on my radar screen.”

Cero also said he plans to work for the Island’s interests regarding the issue of maintaining Islander access to I-90’s SOV access.

“We still have the challenge of keeping what’s in the Island’s best interest when tolling comes to 520,” he said.

Cero will take over the position held by Sven Goldmanis since 1999. Goldmanis did not seek re-election for a third term. The Council will also remain seven men despite the efforts of two women who sought a Council seat this year. Patti Darling lost to Bruce Bassett for Position 5. The election will be officially certified by the county election’s office next Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Judge, a independent business owner in media consulting, said she gave Cero a congratulatory call last week and wishes him well. She also said she was surprised by the change in the voters since the August primary.

She said the opposition was successful in painting her as an outsider and she enjoyed the experience.

“It was a really great experience and I got to talk a a lot of people about important issues. We ran a great campaign.”

The official vote counts for City of Mercer Island Council Position No. 3 (As of 4 p.m. Friday) was:

Maureen Judge 3,952 48.73%

Mike Cero 4,146 51.12%

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