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UPDATE | McSherry thanks voters for lopsided victory in Bainbridge fire race
There is no doubt who will be the next commissioner for Position 4 on the Bainbridge Island Fire Department fire board.
In the largest landslide victory of any local election Tuesday night, Eileen A. McSherry beat fellow board hopeful William "Bill" Ruddick with a resounding win.
With 4,172 ballots counted, the first vote count released by the Kitsap County Elections Division on Election Night put McSherry in the lead by a commanding margin of 1,634 votes.
McSherry had an early advantage with 69 percent of the vote over Ruddick's 30 percent.
McSherry, who was unaware of the initial vote tally before being contacted by the Review, was enthusiastic about the results thus far.
"It's pretty exciting," she said.
"It's an absolute honor to be able to serve in this capacity and I'm very excited to do that. We've got an outstanding fire department here on Bainbridge Island and I'm excited to continue to support them," McSherry said.
She claimed that her experience in the field and attention to future community preparedness made her the favorite among island voters.
"I've never run for public office, and I'm surprised because I didn't run any kind of campaign before participating in the forums," she said.
Ruddick conceded that he appeared to have lost the election.
"I was donating my time so if they don't want me to do that, that's fine with me, too," he said. "I wish them good luck and hopefully they can make some decisions finally and get going on things."
Ruddick said that it may have been the appearance of a personal conflict of interest arising from his son's occupation as a fireman that may have swayed some voters.
Ruddick, and other candidates with ties to the fire department, found themselves under constant criticism for alleged conflicts during the campaign.
"The only thing I think she was focusing on was the fact that I have a son in the fire department," Ruddick said.
"You never know how people think these days," he said.
Voters also cast ballots in two other contested fire department commissioner races this year.
Theresa "Teri" Dettmer was winning against Holly vanSchaick for the Position 5 seat, while David H. Lynch was losing to YongSuk Cho in the campaign for the Position 2 seat.