Lead changes in close race for Oroville School Board spot

OKANOGAN – Although the percentages changed somewhat in a few cases, the second vote count didn’t change early election counts by much except for Oroville School Board Position 5 where 19 votes now separate Rocky DeVon and Timothy Whiteaker.

In the first vote count, on general election day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, Whiteaker had a one vote advantage over DeVon. In the second count, held Friday, Nov. 11, the advantage had switched from Whiteaker, a former school board member, to DeVon who now leads 570 votes (50.85 percent) to 551 (47.02 percent). The narrow lead means that for Position 5 the election may still be too close to call.

County-wide there are an estimated 1300 ballots left to count. Not all, however, are within the Oroville School District and only those that were postmarked by election day can be counted. A third count is planned for Thursday, Nov. 17, while election results will not be certified until Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Last Friday’s count seemed to confirm that the make up of the Oroville School Board has changed entirely from those currently holding school director’s positions, with the exception of incumbent Amy Wise. Wise appears to have been returned to her Position 3 seat. Wise is leading the election over challenger Scott Rich, expanding her lead to a nearly 20 percent advantage. Wise gained another 200 plus votes to a total of 638 to Rich’s 430, a pick up of about 120 votes.

Christina Rise has also increased her lead, although less dramatically, over incumbent Tedi Fletcher for Position 1. In the second vote count Rise had 698 votes (64.1 percent) to Fletcher’s 391 (35.9 percent).

Phil Barker also edged up with Friday’s count, growing his narrow lead over incumbent Patti Garrett, who was appointed to Position 4 after Jerry Nelson stepped down. Barker picked up about 180 votes for a total of 586, or 52.9 percent of the votes cast. Garrett added another 140 votes for a total of 520 (47.02 percent.)

Former school director David Nutt, who had the ticket all to himself for Position 2, will see a return to the board after several yearS’ absence.

None of incumbents running for the three open positions on the Tonasket School Board faced challengers. Catherine Stangland keeps her seat on the board in Position 2, Ty Olson in Position 3 and Jerry Asmussen in Position 5.

In the one challenged position for the Tonasket City Council Jill M. Vugteveen’s lead over Ron Martell fell by .06 percent. Vugteveen now has 106 votes, or 62.35 percent, to Martell’s 64 votes, or 37.65 percent for Position 3. Scott Olson, Julianna Griffin and Selena Hines will return to the council for positions 2, 4 and 5 respectively.

Incumbents also went unchallenged for the three open seats on the Oroville City Council. Edward Naillon returns to Position 3, Walt Hart III to Position 4 and Neysa Roley to Position 5.

Riverside had several positions open in city government. Margie Mefford retains her position as mayor. It looks like Dana Armstrong has defeated Bill Bond by a wide margin for Council Position 2 an unexpired two-year term. By Friday’s count Armstrong was enjoying a 12 vote lead over Bond, 32 votes to 20. Arlie Clinkenbeard, the former Okanogan County Commissioner, ran unopposed for Position 4 and Chad Booker ran unopposed for Council Position 5. Both are four-year terms.

Clarice Nelson will return to the North Valley Hospital District board at Commissioner Position 2 and Helen Casey at Commissioner Position 4.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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