Vancil, Lester, Hytopoulos lead in early primary election results

Here’s my story on the early results posted at 8:15 p.m. today:

Bainbridge voters narrowed their choices from nine to six City Council candidates on Tuesday.

Of all the candidates, Councilwoman Debbie Vancil drew the largest share of votes in early returns released Tuesday night. Vancil, who is seeking a third term, garnered almost 42 percent of the 1,558 votes counted in the North Ward. She will advance to the general election with former councilman and mayoral candidate Bob Scales, who earned almost 32 percent of the vote.

“I’m very encouraged by the results,” Vancil said, noting the 10 point gap between her and Scales. “I’m hoping it says that the community doesn’t want the status quo. I’ve always stood for change in a positive way…and I think the community’s with me.”

Scales said he has “more work to do” before the general election in November.

“Debbie has lived in the community longer, she’s run two successful campaigns and been on every committee imaginable,” he said. “She’s got more name recognition than I do, so it’ll be a challenge to get out there as much as I can before the general election.”

The third North Ward candidate, Melanie Keenan, took 25 percent and will not advance.

In the Central Ward, community activist and publisher Debbi Lester, 40 percent, and Winslow business owner Dee DuMont, 31 percent, garnered the two top spots to advance. Retired educator Virginia Paul took 26 percent of the 1,556 votes counted.

Despite coming in about 9 points behind Lester, DuMont believes she’ll win in November because the entire island – rather than just the Central Ward – will vote in the general election.

“My feeling is that Debbi’s power base is in Winslow and mine is not,” she said, noting that some of her most “ardent” supporters live outside the Central Ward.

Sharing a similar platform with Paul, DuMont also believes she may get a boost from Paul’s supporters.

Lester could not be reached for comment on election night.

The closest race emerged in the South Ward, where 1,774 votes were counted. Community activist and attorney Kirsten Hytopoulos took just over 39 percent while accountant Tim Jacobsen trailed by about 5 percentage points.

“I’m very pleased,” Jacobsen said. “Kirsten has a lot better name recognition, so to do that well, I feel pretty good.”

Hytopoulos could not be reached for comment shortly after the results were posted.

Jacobsen said voters will have a clear choice in the general election, characterizing himself as a problem-solver and consensus-builder, and Hytopoulos as having a “more aggressive approach” in her community involvement.

“I will serve the community, not just confront the community,” he said.

The third South Ward candidate, Curt Winston, earned just over 24 percent.

3 thoughts on “Vancil, Lester, Hytopoulos lead in early primary election results

  1. If you like our currently enshrined free spenders you’ll love whats coming . . . activists and attorneys . . . wonderful

  2. Bob Scales is a decent guy, but all he knows is working for the government. I perfer people who think government should provide good roads, water and sewer, then get out of the way.

  3. The person running against Scales (Vancil) is a 15 year career politician. Take a look at her public records involving finances, her voting record and her public statements. She does not vote or think that government should provide those roads (did not vote for or add any money to the budget the last two years for roads), water & sewer upgrades (again, take a look at her voting record).

    Vancil will however, vote & spend lots of money on other non-essential government projects & services.

    Scales has my vote, hands down!

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