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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

July 9, 2013 at 2:58 PM

It’s official: Pacific Mayor Cy Sun booted from office

Voters in the small town of Pacific have officially kicked Mayor Cy Sun out of office, completing one of the few successful recalls of a citywide official in Washington in recent years.

About 950 voters — 65.4 percent — chose to recall Sun, according to final election results released Tuesday by King County Elections. About 500 voted no.

The 1,453 counted ballots marked a 49 percent turnout of the roughly 3,000 registered voters in the town of 6,600, which straddles the King-Pierce County line.

Sun’s ouster was all but cemented on Election Day, June 25, when early returns showed the mayor far behind.

The 83-year-old, who took office in January 2012 after winning as a write-in candidate, had forced out almost all of his department heads, including three police chiefs, had been arrested while trying to enter the city’s clerk office and had triggered some $11 million in lawsuits against the town, which has a budget of $15 million.

Supporters saw Sun as a fresh voice determined to stamp out corruption. But opponents said he went way too far.

Mayor Pro Tem James McMahan became mayor upon the certification of the election. The city council is expected to tap somebody to fulfill Sun’s term soon.

In a statement announcing his plans as mayor, McMahan thanked the voters and Sun himself.

“We must also keep in mind that Mr. Sun was willing to do what most are not – participate in his government. He was a resident of Pacific who thought he saw something wrong with his government and he chose to do something about it,” McMahan wrote. “The City of Pacific will spend the coming months, maybe years, seeking to repair itself from the actions of Mayor Sun, but I hope that we also take a moment to appreciate his willingness to take a risk for what he thought was right.”

Sun did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Comments | More in Local government | Topics: Cy Sun, James McMahan, king county elections

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