It's over: Partridge concedes mayoral election to Backus

Mayor-elect Nancy Backus receives applause from supporters as she arrives at OddFellas Pub & Eatery Thursday evening for a celebration. - Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter
Mayor-elect Nancy Backus receives applause from supporters as she arrives at OddFellas Pub & Eatery Thursday evening for a celebration.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter

Auburn gets itself a new mayor come Jan. 1.

And for the first time in the City's 120-year history, the mayor's going to be a she.

Mayor-elect Nancy Backus said John Partridge called her at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday to concede the close contest.

"He told me he had talked with King County Elections and realized that there were not going to be any changes to the results, so he called to congratulate me," Backus said. "John was very gracious, and I thanked him for his work on the Council, and that I hoped he continued in the community and maybe even considered public service again."

As of Thursday night, the combined results of King and Pierce counties gave Backus 6,710 votes to Partridge's 6,580.

Backus had been unwilling to call the race hers, even as the votes remaining to be counted dwindled in the days following the Nov. 5 general election. The race is certified Nov. 26.

"It finally hit, and I finally allowed it to just sink in, as opposed to saying 'thank you, but,' and just not stepping over that line," Backus said. "The cautious part of me just couldn't do that, and plus, out of respect for John … "

Backus, meeting with supporters at Oddfellas Pub & Eatery on Thursday evening for a small celebration, said she plans to work at her Boeing job through the end of November, take two weeks of vacation and then pitch into the transition at City Hall before returning to Boeing in the third week of December to close out performance evaluations for her team there.

Backus' 15-year-old daughter, Lucky, was at mom's side, beaming.

"I think it's amazing, and I'm just so proud of her and everything she's done. It's really good to see her get that victory we've all been waiting for," Lucky said.

"We've been waiting an awful long time, and not just for weeks," said Backus' neighbor and longtime friend and supporter, Julie Poe. "This is something that has been in the works and in planning for quite a period of time."

Backus said Mayor Pete Lewis called to congratulate her, telling her that it was about time she made it official, as "everybody else" already had.

"I'm just so excited," Backus said. "I know it's not going to be easy. I'm not so naîve that I think everything is going to be perfect. But I know how to surround myself with great people. I love this city, Auburn's been wonderful to me."

Backus said her mother called in tears to congratulate her this morning.

"She said, 'Oh, Nanny' — she calls me Nanny — 'I'm so proud of you. Now I can tell all the relatives,'" Backus said with a laugh.

Partridge could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

Tight council race

In addition to the mayoral race, the only remaining race for City Council still close as of Thursday was that between incumbent Rich Wagner and challenger Michelle Binetti where the candidates were separated by a mere 25 votes.

As of Thursday evening, Wagner had 6,115 votes, 50.1 percent of the combined tally from the counties to Binetti's 6,090 votes, 49.9 percent.

Although not officially certified, Yolanda Trout and Claude DaCorsi also have won their contests.

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