VANCOUVER, Wash. - Early vote returns Tuesday night show Mayor Tim Leavitt leading his challenger, Bill Turlay.
Leavitt had 54 percent of the vote to Turlay's 46 percent.
Leavitt supporters celebrated his lead at Beaches Restaurant.
In an interview, Leavitt said he was a bit disappointed with his lead. He said it should have been a landslide victory.
The crowd at Beaches was pretty confident his lead will stand.
And Leavitt's staff thinks the votes that haven't been counted yet should swing his way, because the later votes are traditionally more liberal.
But Leavitt said that some of the mud that was slung during this election stuck, and in his eyes changed the vote in Turlay's favor.
Turlay is still on the City Council, which begs the question whether the two will still be able to work together after all the votes are tallied.
"Bill Turlay's a nice gentleman," said Leavitt. "I just think at times he's influenced by the wrong people. I'll be looking to Bill Turlay to set aside some of the things he said in this election and be ready to move on. That's what a statesman does."
It hasn't been a huge turnout for the election. There have been only about 20,000 votes cast in the mayor's race.
Some of the voters interviewed earlier in the day while dropping off their ballots said they thought some people may have stayed away from this election because of the unusually large number of candidates and advisory votes.
Countywide, the turnout has only been about 25 percent.