Elder barely leads Duclos for City Council seat

By ANDY HOBBS, The Mirror

As of press time Thursday, the race between Hope Elder and Dini Duclos for Federal Way City Council position 7 remained a real cliffhanger.

Elder led Duclos by a slim margin of about 40 votes, with absentee ballots still being counted.

“Things have a way of working out, but I want this so bad,” Elder said Wednesday night. “I really feel good about the fact that I have come out this strong.”

Duclos, who boarded a plane to Hawaii on Thursday for a scheduled vacation, said she likely will not run for City Council again if Elder wins this election.

“Hope and I have worked for five solid months. It’s a huge time commitment,” said Duclos, who will continue serving on the city’s Planning Commission should she lose the election. “I don’t think it’s over yet.”

Elder, a former council member, recalled a past election in which she beat current City Council member Jack Dovey by 12 votes.

“I’m sure not counting my chickens before they hatch,” said Elder, who noted Election Day also marked the wedding anniversary she shared with late husband, Sam. “It was an emotional day for me.”

Dovey handily won re-election to position 5 against challenger Roger Freeman. As of press time Thursday, Dovey had about 57 percent of the vote.

This election victory netted Dovey a third term on the council. Freeman, an attorney who specializes in child-parent advocacy, garnered about 43 percent of the vote in his first political race.

Freeman said running a grass-roots campaign was a valuable learning experience. He plans to get more involved in Federal Way matters and continue pursuing public office.

“I got nothing but positive feedback from this election. You don’t have to sit on the city council to make changes,” Freeman said. “If Dovey is still in that chair in 2011, he had better be the best darn councilman you can get.”

Dovey had not returned calls for comment as of press time.

Bill Gates won re-election to the South King Fire and Rescue board of commissioners against opponent Gary Bollinger.

“We have one of the best fire departments in the state of Washington, and I will work very hard the next six years to keep it that way,” said Gates, a longtime Federal Way resident and community leader. “I knew it would not be an easy race. I’m just thrilled to have been re-elected.”

Contact writer: or (253) 925-5565.

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