UPDATE | Cho advances to November election as big winner in primary race

Worries over a potential conflict of interest did not seem to connect with Bainbridge Island voters as YongSuk Cho easily ran to first place in Tuesday's three-way Primary Election race for a seat on the board of commissioners for the Bainbridge Island Fire Department.

Cho, a longtime volunteer firefighter for the Bainbridge department, was leading with 61.5 percent of the vote on Election Night.

David H. Lynch was second with 23 percent and will advance with Cho to the November ballot.

Meghan McKnight was third, with 15 percent of all ballots cast.

A total of 3,341 votes were tallied on Tuesday.

Cho ran a campaign based on his insider's knowledge of the Bainbridge department, and said the voice of firefighters should be heard at the fire commissioners' meetings.

Voters, however, were warned by some also seeking a seat on the board that Cho, along with two other candidates in other races who also have strong ties to the department, could face a potential conflict of interest when voting on some personnel-related issues if elected.

Cho could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.

His opponents in the race congratulated him for his strong finish.

Cho's experience may have been a factor in the vote, Lynch noted.

"He has had a lot of experience with the Bainbridge Island Fire Department and I can certainly understand that," Lynch said. "I congratulate him on his first-place finish."

"I personally would hope that as we come closer to the next election, the real election, that people will understand the potential of conflict of interests between having somebody on the inside, versus an external managerial point of view," Lynch said.

McKnight offered congratulations to both of her fellow candidates.

"Either one of them are going to serve the Bainbridge public well," McKnight said.

"I was honored that I had the 15 percent," she added. "That's wonderful, and I'm sure the fire commissioners are going to do great work over the next few years. I wish them the best of luck."

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