Melody Reed and Gregory L. Jones were leading Tuesday night in the primary race for an open seat on the Richland City Council.
Reed, 59, vice principal of Christ the King School in Richland, had the strongest showing, with 2,674 votes, or about 43 percent, according to the first round of returns.
Gregory L. Jones, also 59, the nuclear safety division team leader for the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations Office, had 2,339 votes, or 37 percent.
The third candidate, Stan Bensussen, 63, vice president and chief ethics officer for CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co., a Hanford contractor, trailed with 1,235 votes, or 20 percent.
The top two vote-getters advance to November’s general election.
Reed and Jones both said they were pleased with the initial results.
“I’m so excited. I’m thrilled. I’d just like to say thank you for the support,” Reed said, noting the first round of returns energized her.
Jones said he feels grateful for the vote of confidence and “(wants) to earn that trust and that vote of confidence and will continue to work for that.”
Bensussen said that in a primary, “you hope to get out the vote, but the people speak. That’s the way the system works.”
The election results aren’t official yet. About 5,000 ballots are left to be counted.
Updated results will be released today, and each day until the count is complete. The election results will be certified Aug. 20.
The candidate who ultimately wins in November will replace Mayor John Fox, who is retiring.
In interviews with the candidates leading up to the primary, a few themes emerged, including the need for revitalization of the Uptown area. All three listed that as a priority.