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Two Grandview races decided, one close

GRANDVIEW - Mayor Norm Childress credited voter common sense and city expansion as keys to his victory over challenger Helen Darr.

"Our schools are great; brand new," Childress said. "Things are going pretty good here."

After a preliminary vote count last night, Childress had 493 votes or 57 percent while Darr had 365 votes, or 42 percent.

Childress was appointed mayor in January after the resignation of Mike Bren. Childress said with his victory, he'll continue to work with Darr on the issues that are important to Grandview citizens.

"One of our council goals is to build the trust in our community," he said.

Childress said many people don't think the government does a good job making decisions and is wasteful. He said he hopes to change that.

Additionally, Childress said the Wal-Mart distribution center, along with expansion at the city's Yakima Valley Community College center, have improved the city. Childress said future business expansion is something he hopes will happen and that business growth will lead to an expansion of the tax base from which his city can work.

Childress also credited the city's staff.

"We have an excellent city staff," said Childress, noting that though he and the council set the agenda for the city, the staff are the ones who implement the policies.

Darr graciously accepted defeat.

"When you throw your hat into the ring, you have to expect this," Darr said. "If you can't take defeat, don't run."

Darr said she plans to remain on the city council for the two remaining years of her term. The 20-year council veteran will continue to work with Childress though she said the two have differing opinions on what the most important issues facing the city are.

Darr stressed that people need to be given more recreational opportunities in the town. Grandview's pool was an issue she mentioned as needing attention.

In other Grandview races incumbent city council member Joan Souder soundly defeated challenger Maria Armendariz. Souder claimed 632 votes while Armendariz claimed 217 in the preliminary count, or 74 percent to 26 percent.

Richard McLean, Pam Homer and Javier Rodriguez were all unopposed in their city council races.

The Grandview School Director District 2 race was the closest of the Grandview races.

After a count at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Mark Meyer led Karen Veloz 691 to 632, or 52 percent to 48 percent. A Veloz victory is still statistically possible based on the number of ballots mailed out, and absentee ballots could continue to trickle in.

The election results will be certified on Nov. 23.

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