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Raines concedes election to Hancock

The race for Sunnyside City Council, District 1, ended this past weekend when challenger Jason Raines conceded the election to incumbent Theresa Hancock.

According to the latest vote count released this past Friday, Hancock leads Raines 683 to 619, an advantage of 64 votes.

The Yakima County elections office said today there are four more ballots to count for Sunnyside, not including those from overseas, which have until Nov. 23 to arrive.

Raines had held a one-vote lead after the initial ballot count last Tuesday afternoon.

He issued a press release yesterday, Sunday, announcing that he conceded the contest.

"Earlier today, I called Ms. Hancock to congratulate her on her victory, and wish her luck in her continuing service to the city as a council member," Raines said. "Although there are points about which we have disagreed in the past, there are many things about which we do agree."

Raines called the run for office, his first, a "learning experience." He added, "I hope that Ms. Hancock and I are both the better off for having gone through it. As the late returns have come in, it is now clear that Ms. Hancock has been re-elected to office as council member for District 1."

Raines said Hancock's conservative approach in evaluating budget increases will be needed "to keep the tax burden on our citizens to a minimum."

He said he is also supportive of her efforts to restore customer service at city hall five days each week.

Raines said the campaign had an impact on making law enforcement a higher priority for the city council.

"Ms. Hancock has assured me that if another budget crunch occurs, the Police Department will be better protected from the lay-off of officers," he said.

"By this measure, I would consider my campaign to be a success. I am excited about where the city of Sunnyside is currently positioned, and am very optimistic about the future."

Raines thanked his campaign supporters and volunteers for their efforts.

He also encouraged them and Sunnyside's citizens to look forward.

"Now that the race is over in District 1, we can move on to making good things happen in our city government. Please join me in congratulating Ms. Hancock, and thanking her for being willing to continue to serve."

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