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Selby wins Olympia mayor race

Olympia mayoral candidate Cheryl Selby speaks with high school volunteers from her campaign at the Ramblin Jack's restaurant before election results begin to come in Nov. 3rd.
Olympia mayoral candidate Cheryl Selby speaks with high school volunteers from her campaign at the Ramblin Jack's restaurant before election results begin to come in Nov. 3rd. Staff photographer

Early election results show Cheryl Selby winning the race to become Olympia’s next mayor.

Selby is leading with 70.8 percent of the vote over challenger Marco Rosaire Rossi, who has 28.84 percent.

Once the election is certified Nov. 24, Selby will become the third female mayor in Olympia history. She will replace current Mayor Stephen Buxbaum, who declined to run for re-election.

Selby, 54, also will be the first business owner to serve as mayor in nearly 40 years, with the last being Thomas Allen back in 1977. Aside from her experience in owning a small downtown clothing business, Selby said another advantage in this election was her past community involvement in the nonprofit sector and public schools.

She said her immediate priorities upon taking office include redirecting state revenue back to the city, such as money to put toward mental health services in downtown Olympia. She also wants to promote “council cafes” and other events that give the public more access to elected officials.

“I really do want to take the council back out to the community in a way that has not been done before,” she said Tuesday. “I want people to have more access to their council members.”

In 2013, Selby was elected to the Olympia City Council position 4. The council will appoint someone to fill Selby’s position.

Rossi, 34, ran on a progressive platform called Olympia For All, which supported a $15 minimum wage, urban planning, police accountability and public involvement. Rossi said his campaign helped keep those issues alive in the election conversation. He and other supporters will continue to pressure the council to address problems such as poverty and police reform, he said.

“For us, this has never been just about one election cycle,” he said.

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