Pair of nail-biter races for MI School Board director positions

Martinez and Lee are triumphant; Reynolds and Jacobson win city council races.

Just as the candidates predicted, a pair of Mercer Island School Board director races went down to the wire.

The races were already ultra close when King County Elections (KCE) posted the preliminary results on Nov. 7. As three weeks rolled by, the numbers remained tight — with some lead changes along the way — and KCE posted the final results and certification documents on Nov. 28.

When the dust had finally cleared in the Mercer Island School Board realm, Cristina Martinez (50.39%, 3,910 votes) defeated Ananta Gudipaty (49.39%, 3,832 votes) for Position 1, and Jody Lee (50.01%, 3,971 votes) beat Todd White (49.82%, 3,956 votes) for Position 5.

Martinez is grateful for the residents whose votes paved the path for securing her director’s position.

“This victory reflects our community’s commitment to our children’s well-being. Thanks to all contributors, including Ananta Gudipaty for his gracious concession, highlighting our community’s unity. Let’s uphold our school system’s excellence together. I look forward to continuing our partnership in shaping a brighter future for our children,” she said.

Lee thanked Islanders for letting their voices be heard at the ballot boxes, adding that she’s thrilled to begin working for Island students and families.

“My campaign made the strongest possible efforts during this election while remaining true to the principles that drove me to take this step. As school board director I look forward to putting a capstone on the years of public service that have fulfilled me in our shared community,” said Lee, who added in a previous Reporter article that one critical issue is a thoughtful approach to planning for the future.

Over in the Mercer Island City Council races, incumbent Craig Reynolds (56.18%, 4,485 votes) defeated Michael Curry (43.68%, 3,487 votes) for Position 5, and incumbent Jake Jacobson (79.28%, 6,219 votes) beat Andrew Friedman (20.35%, 1,596 votes) for Position 7.

“I am grateful for the confidence that voters have placed in me, and I look forward to continuing my work to represent the community in addressing the challenges and opportunities ahead. I offer thanks to all candidates, campaign volunteers and elections staff for supporting the democratic process,” Reynolds said.

Jacobson delved into locals’ wishes when voting and praised the city staff that he and others have worked alongside in recent years: “By re-electing the four incumbent candidates, Mercer Island residents clearly and decisively voted to have its city council stay the course of providing city services and addressing unexpected challenges efficiently and cost effectively as it has done for the past four years. The enlightened leadership of Mayor Salim Nice and Deputy Mayor Dave Rosenbaum combined with City Manager Jessi Bon’s proactive leadership of city staff has made this result possible.”

Current councilmembers Dave Rosenbaum (Position 1) and Wendy Weiker (Position 3) ran unopposed and garnered 98.83% and 98.60% of the vote, respectively. Rosenbaum had 5,664 votes and Weiker had 5,723 votes.

Maggie Tai Tucker, a current school board member, ran unopposed for Position 3 and notched 98.53% (5,639 votes) of the vote.

Craig Reynolds and Jake Jacobson. Courtesy photos

Craig Reynolds and Jake Jacobson. Courtesy photos