Voters chose two Republicans clerk candidates to advance to General Electio

OKANOGAN- Although the results aren’t official until certified, it appears OkanoganCounty voters preferred the two Republicans for clerk over the lone Democrat inthe only local three-way race in the Primary Election held Tuesday, Aug. 17.

In the”top two” primary the two candidates receiving the most votes will be on theballot in the upcoming General Election to be held next November, so CharleneGroomes, who received 3,923 votes, or 43.37 percent of the votes, and Rae JeanKelly, who received 2,755, or 30.46 percent of the votes, will proceed to theGeneral Election if late arriving votes continue along the same pattern. CindyGagne, who listed her party preference as Democratic, fostered 2,367, or 26.17percent of the votes.

As ofthe most recent count, which took place Aug. 20, north county voters seem tohave preferred Jim Detro over Becki Andrist for Okanogan County Commissionerfor District 3. However, since there are only two candidates running, bothDetro, who got 2,015 votes (61.72%) and Andrist, who got 1,250 votes (38.28%)will appear on the General Election ballot that will go to all county voters inNovember. Both candidates listed their party preference as Republican. Currentsheriff Frank Rogers appears to be winning the primary nearly two-to-one overfellow Republican candidate for sheriff, Dave Yarnell, a county deputy. Rogersreceived 6,112 votes for 68.47 percent to Yarnell’s 2,814 votes for 31.53percent. Both men will appear on the General Election ballot in November.

In theonly other two-way race, that for treasurer, it is a close contest withincumbent Leah F. McCormack, who prefers Democratic Party, earning 4,696 votes,or 52.66 percent, to Pamela Wyllson, who earned 4,221 votes, or 47.34 percent.Wyllson, who listed Republican Party as her party preference, will appearalongside McCormak on the November ballot.

Therewere three county offices with only one candidate appearing on the Primaryballot, all incumbents. These are assessor Scott Furman, a Democrat; auditor,Laurie Thomas, a Republican and prosecutor, Karl Sloan, a Democrat. Furmanreceived 6,136 votes, Thomas, 6,910 votes and Sloan, 5,640.

TheOkanogan County District Court Judges and the PUD Commissioner for District 3will only appear on the General Election ballot.

In thestate’s Seventh Legislative District, which includes much of Okanogan County,incumbent senator Bob Morton, a Republican from Kettle Falls is still thecounty favorite, receiving 4,326 votes (77.25%) over Democratic challengerBarbara Mowrey, from Chewelah who had 1,274 (22.75%) votes in Okanogan County.In the six counties or parts of counties that make up the Seventh District,Morton has a wide lead over Mowrey. Morton received 23,663 (74.69%) and Mowreyreceived 8,018 (25.31%) of the votes cast. The district’s two representatives,Shelly Short in Position 1 and Joel Kretz in Position 2, are unchallenged inthis year’s Primary Election. Both incumbent candidates are Republicans.

Forfederal office, incumbent U.S. Senator Patti Murray faced a number ofchallengers this election. The Democrat appeared on the ballot with 14 othercandidates, including four other Democrats, five Republicans, one CentristParty, one Reform Party and two who list no party preference. Republican DinoRossi was the county favorite as of the current count, with 4,236 votes, or44.16 of the ballots cast. Murray had 3,143 county votes in her favor, or 32.76percent. Republican Clint Didier was third with 1,642 votes, or 32.76 percent.Statewide, however, Murray has the lead over Rossi and gathered 655,972, or46.32% of the votes. Rossi got the second highest number of votes with 472,169,or 33.34 percent.

IncumbentU.S. Representative Cathy McMorris is by far the county favorite forCongressional District 5. The Republican received 6,532 votes, or 71.25percent. The four Democratic and one Constitution Party challengers trying tounseat her shared the rest of the county votes fairly evenly. In the combinedvote of the 12 counties or parts of counties that make up the Fifth CongressionalDistrict, McMorris was still way ahead with 99,998 votes (62.52%) of her nexthighest challenger, Romeyn, a Democrat, who had 19,946 (12.47%) votes. Itappears the two will face each other in the upcoming General Election.

In Okanogan County voter turnout was 48.58percent and statewide it was 40.01 percent. The next ballot count will be heldSept. 1 and the election will be certified on Sept. 10. The General Electionwill be held Tuesday, Aug. 2.

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 has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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