The Hoquiam City Council could soon see some new faces, with two incumbents trailing their challengers and a newcomer set to fill the seat of long-time Councilman Byron Hyde, who didn’t seek re-election.
Another incumbent, Councilman Greg Grun, will hold on to his seat.
In Hoquiam’s Ward 2, challenger Richard Pennant is 9 votes ahead of incumbent Councilman John Wiedl, 86 votes to 77. In Ward 5, challenger Denise Anderson holds a larger lead over incumbent Councilwoman Brenda Carlstrom, 103 votes to 79, for about 57 percent of the vote. Grun leads challenger Harold Delorme with about 82 percent of the vote.
Pennant, a real estate investor, said he finds his lead “encouraging,” but he’ll wait until more votes are counted before celebrating.
“It gives me a reason to be optimistic and I just hope the lead holds,” Pennant said.
Messages left Wiedl were not returned on Tuesday night.
Anderson, a meat wrapper at Swanson’s Foods, said she’s also waiting for more results. But she’s excited at the prospect of serving on the Hoquiam City Council.
“It’s still really early, but I’m excited,” Anderson said. “I’m really looking forward to getting in and hoping to make a difference. I guess my main goal is just to make the Harbor a better place. That’s the whole point of this.”
Carlstrom said she’s disappointed to lose her seat, but she wished Anderson luck.
“I have truly enjoyed representing the citizens of Ward 5, but the voters have spoken,” Carlstrom said. “I will continue to be active in my community and look forward to working with the new council member.”
Grun, a pharmacist and owner of Crown Drug, said he wasn’t surprised by his victory, as he had heard that Delorme no longer wished to run for the council position, and that he “wasn’t involved in any campaigning.”
The incumbent has served on the Hoquiam City Council for 14 years.
“I look forward to trying to accomplish something with the city and with the people,” Grun said.
Instead of waiting to finish his term in office, which was up in January, long-time Councilman Byron Hyde handed in his resignation the day before Election Day. Mayor Jack Durney said the Hoquiam City Council plans to appoint Kim Simera, who ran for his open Ward 6 position, to his seat.
Durney said Simera has been attending council meetings and is prepared for the job.
The mayor said he looks forward to working with the new city council, but he will miss working with his soon-to-be former council members — especially Carlstrom.
“That’s really unfortunate for Brenda, I think the world of her,” Durney said. “And Wiedl, you never know with him.”
Councilman John Pellegrini of Ward 1, Bill Nelson of Ward 3 and Kay Diehm of Ward 6 all ran unopposed and retained their seats.