UPDATE | Desire for change was crucial in Bainbridge South Ward council race

Someone new was needed.

That was the big reason behind Matthew Tirman’s election to the Bainbridge Island City Council, the candidate said, after the results of the first vote tally had sunk in.

Tirman is on his way to a council seat after pulling in 58.6 percent of the vote over fellow candidate Theodore “Ted” Jones, who earned 41.2 percent.

The vote tally stood at 2,728 votes for Tirman, and 1,919 votes for Jones, in the initial count.

Tirman, 36, will join the council in January in the District 3, South Ward seat.

“It’s been a heck of an election,” Tirman said as he celebrated with more than 60 supporters, friends and family on Election Night at Bainbridge Brewing.

The win was validating, he said, noting the exhaustive, all-island effort put out by people working on his campaign, which included doorbelling at more than a thousand homes on Bainbridge.

“I’m really thrilled,” Tirman said. “We have so many great supporters that donated their time and effort.”

Three new members were elected to join the Bainbridge council; all of them relative newcomers to the island’s political scene.

Rasham Nassar, an organic farmer, unseated incumbent Councilman Wayne Roth, and Joe Deets, a solar energy consultant, ran away with a lopsided win against Kevin Fetterly.

“I think people were looking for a change,” Tirman said.

Gone, he said, may be the tradition of seats being passed down from one select group of islanders to another.

“I think those days are over,” Tirman said. “We have some fresh voices with different backgrounds on the council now.”

The next vote tally is expected to take place Wednesday.

A total of 38,236 ballots were tallied countywide on Election Night. That put the initial voter turnout at 23.3 percent.

The Kitsap County Elections Division estimates there are another 15,000 ballots left to count, not including the ones that have yet to come in the mail but will be postmarked Nov. 7 or earlier.

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