Watson and Hughes take the lead in council race

In the race for San Juan County Council District 1, Bill Watson is in the lead against incumbent Bob Jarman. As of votes tallied on Nov. 8, Watson has garnered 56.4 percent of the votes. Incumbent Bob Jarman received 43.5 percent.

Incumbent Rick Hughes is on his way to another term on the San Juan County Council for District 2. He ran against Michael Durland. A total of 74.2 percent voted for Hughes and 24.8 cast their votes for Durland as of election day.

A total of 8,385 ballots were counted; 2,000 are left. The next ballot count is on Nov. 9 at 5 p.m.

District 1

“I appreciate all the support I’ve received. I’ve really enjoyed going around the county and hearing the hopes and wishes of the community,” said Watson. “I look forward to getting to work — working on the issues that folks and I have talked about over the last year. I also look forward to working with the two other council members, as well as other elected officials and staff.”

Watson has a had a long career in the tech industry as a software engineer and manager. He said he believes strongly in clarifying land-use regulations, fostering year-round employment and encouraging long-term affordable rental housing.

“I feel privileged to join a good, solid and professional team and look forward to working with them,” said Watson.

His opponent, Bob Jarman spent 30 years with the local phone company before going out on his own and becoming a small business owner.

“I’d like to thank Bob Jarman. I’ve appreciated our discussion and debates and wish him well. We didn’t discuss personal issues – we kept talking about county issues,” said Watson. “ I respect Bob and his willingness to serve as well.”

In his time on the council, Jarman has been a part of some major headway in county government like the approval of Shoreline Master Program and Critical Areas Ordinance.

“I want to thank the community for their support and for electing me the first time. I enjoyed serving the citizens of this county,” said Jarman. “I did the best possible job I could and I will look at other ways to serve my community.”

District 2

“Thank you San Juan County for the opportunity to serve four more years from District 2,” said Hughes. “I’m looking forward to working with the community to solve hard issues like affordable housing, expanded ferry capacity, salmon recovery, sustainable agriculture, diversified economy and expanded regional transportation options.”

Since his election in 2013, Hughes has been a part of the following endeavors: public works safety improvements to county roads; a park and ride facility at the Orcas Ferry Landing; electric vehicles and charging stations throughout the San Juans for government employees; passing every state-required legislation in the past three years, including the Shoreline Master Program; putting away money in the rainy day fund and paying off the Solid Waste Excise Bond.

Prior to moving full time to Orcas, Hughes was an executive with ESPN.com and was one of the first online advertising sales executives. Now he and his wife Marlace own and operate Ray’s Pharmacy in Eastsound.

For more election results from San Juan County, go to http://results.vote.wa.gov/results/current/sanjuan/.