Priest, Ferrell leading for mayor of FWay

State Rep. Skip Priest and City Council member Jim Ferrell were heading Tuesday for a face-off to become Federal Way's first elected mayor.

“I’m very pleased to have the support of the community,” said Priest, who was first among four candidates in Tuesday night’s results. “It’s a very important first step.”

Ferrell led the campaign to switch to a strong, elected mayor, which voters approved last year.

He said he was pleased with his second-place showing and hopes to build a coalition to win the election Nov. 2. “At this point, it’s going to be a horse race to November,” Ferrell said. The top two finishers advance.

City Council members Mike Park and Linda Koch-mar were trailing in distant third and fourth places. Kochmar is the current council-elected mayor, a mostly ceremonial post.

Voters electing their own mayor is the biggest change to come to Federal Way since the city incorporated in 1990. At stake is the chance to lead the state’s ninth-largest city as its full-time mayor at an annual salary of $112,800.

Priest, R-Federal Way, is in his fourth term as a representative from the 30th Legislative District. The 60-year-old Priest served on the Federal Way City Council from 1992 to 1997, the last two years as the council-elected mayor.

Ferrell, 43, has been a council member since 2004. He supervises the domestic violence court unit for the King County Prosecutor’s Office.