San Juan Island businessman Bob Jarman evidently struck a chord with voters on the south end of San Juan Island with his "common sense" campaign, defeating incumbent Lovel Pratt in the District 1 San Juan County Council race in the Nov. 6 election.
With 1,523 ballots counted in the District 1 contest as of Tuesday, Jarman garnered 798 votes, 52.4 percent of the initial election results. Pratt had 722, or 47 percent.
"I think it's a clear sign that citizens want to see change," Jarman said of the election night win. "With the all three of the amendments (CRC) passing I think it's clear people want to see a change in how government is run."
Auditor Milene Henly, manager of local elections, said while the numbers may change with the next tally of ballots are counted that she does not expect the final outcome of the District 1 council race to change.
A long-time local telephone company manager and an elected commissioner of San Juan Island Fire Department for eight years, Jarman campaigned on a platform "to balance protection of the land with the land owners' rights."
The two District 1 candidates clashed in their respective view of the CAO.
Like Pratt, Jarman said the Cattle Point Road Realignment Project is of prime importance to District 1 residents, and he expressed misgivings about the critical areas ordinance now under consideration by the council. He said CAO needs updating, "but the new rules, new regulations, and new findings under the umbrella of what's being called "best available science" went way overboard."
As fire commissioner, Jarman oversaw the amalgamation of the Friday Harbor Fire Department into the San Juan Island fire department, and he harkened back to previous civic leaders like Al Nash and Jim Cahail as models for his business philosophy and community awareness.
With 2,068 registered voters, District 1 encompasses the south end of San Juan Island.