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UPDATE | Cho remains hopeful as election results are finalized
With 4,488 ballots counted in this one of three contested races this November for the Bainbridge Island Fire Department Commission, YongSuk Cho said it still may be too early to declare victory for Position 2.
The first vote count released by the Kitsap County Elections Division on Election Night put Cho in the lead by 1,430 votes. Cho had a decisive early lead with 65 percent of the vote over Lynch's 34.
Cho, who was on duty as a firefighter Tuesday night and unaware of the initial results until contacted by a reporter with the Review, said he was very pleased with the tally so far.
"I'm surprised," he said. "I'm definitely thankful for all the support that I am getting."
Cho said it was his history of experience with the department that made him the favorite among Bainbridge voters.
"To be completely honest, unfortunately, the voters don't know a whole lot about the fire district and what's going on in the department itself," Cho said. "I'm thinking that they trust me to do the right thing."
Lynch, who was out of town Tuesday night and also unaware of the initial results prior to be contacted by the Review, conceded that he appeared to have lost.
"If the proportion stands up, I would wish Mr. Cho congratulations," Lynch said. "I know he is going to have a hard job ahead of him."
Lynch and Cho both advanced from a Primary Election in August.
In that three-way race, Lynch claimed 938 votes for a total of 22.9 percent, while Cho garnered 2,541 votes for 62.1 percent of the total vote. Candidate Meghan McKnight, who did not advance under Washington's Top Two primary, picked up 14.7 percent of all votes cast.