Update: Asmussen and Kester still lead in race for PUD Commissioner #3

Kennedy hangs in for general election, Campbell out

OKANOGAN – Jerry D. Asmussen and Aaron Kester were the two top vote getters for the office of Okanogan County PUD Commissioner, District 3, in last Tuesday’s primary.

Asmussen took home 1559 votes (56.9%) to lead all three candidates running for the office. Kester received 717 votes (25.52%) and John Hamilton Graham got 494 (17.58%) based on Monday’s, the third count of ballots. While not official until certified on Tuesday, Aug.16, it’s unlikely the next ballot count scheduled for Monday, Aug. 15, will change the results of the race for PUD Commissioner and Asmussen and Kester will face off in the November general election.

The other two races of particular importance to county voters was for the County Board of Commissioners in Positions 1 and 2. In a close three-way race for Position 1, Incumbent Sheilah Kennedy, a Republican, has maintained a narrow lead through all three vote counts, while Independent Chris Branch, who got the second highest number of votes by Monday’s count, was just 10 votes ahead of the third place finisher, Republican Larry W. Schreckengast. Schreckengast was in second place by the previous count, however. Only 14 votes separate Schreckengast from the leader.

The voting went as follows, Kennedy, 613 (27.21%); Branch, 609 (27.03%); Schreckengast, 599 (26.59%) and Independent Ted Reinbold, 432 (19.17%).

While those living within District 3 did not cast ballots in the primary for either County Commissioner Position 1 or 2, all eligible voters will be able to chose from the two top vote getters in the general election. The final two winners in this race may have to wait until the next vote count, although very few votes in the all by-mail election are left to tally.

In the contest for County Commissioner Position 2, Republican Andy Hover, the son of former commissioner Don “Bud” Hover, had a large lead with 1451 votes (40.05%). Ashley W. Thrasher, who did not give a party preference, took second with 1221 votes (33.7%). Republican Ray Campbell, the incumbent, trailed with 761 votes (21%) and Republican Stan R. Kvistad was a distant fourth with 190 votes (5.24%).

The top two vote getters will continue on to face off in the November general election.

There were few surprises in the race for representative from the state’s Seventh Legislative District (which includes most of the north and central parts of the county). Republican Incumbent Shelly Short ran unopposed for Position 1, while Republic Incumbent Joel Kretz was challenged by Libertarian Mike Foster for Position 2. Within Okanogan County Kretz led with 3,212 votes (81.17%) and Foster had 745 (18.82 percent). The county pretty much reflected how Kretz did throughout the Seventh District, where he got 21,429 votes to Foster’s 5,670.

Part of the county, however, does vote for candidates in Legislative District 12. For senate in that district there were two Republicans running. Incumbent Brad Hawkins received the most votes from Okanogan County voters for the senate position he took over when Linda Parlette retired. He received 2,277 votes (62.61%) and challenger Republican Jon Wyss, the former head of the Okanogan County Farm Bureau, received 1,360 votes (37.61%). The percentage lead for Hawkins was only slightly lower when all District 12 voters were added into the equation.

Republican incumbent Cary Condotta led Democrat Dan Maher for Representative Position 1 both in the county and throughout District 12. Mike Steele led a field of four Republicans for Position 2 as far as county voters go. Next was Danny Stone, followed closely by Garn Christensen with Jerry Paine in fourth place. Steele and Paine, were the top two, however, when all the District 12 votes were considered.

The county likes Republican Bill Bryant over Incumbent Democrat Jay Inslee in a field of 11 primary candidates for Governor. Statewide it was Inslee over Bryant. They also liked Republican Mary McClendon for Lieutenant Governor by a wide margin with Democrat Karen Frazier getting the second most votes. Statewide it was Democrat Cyrus Habib with McClendon taking second in the field of 11 candidates.

It was no surprise in conservative Okanogan County that Republicans led the votes in races for state Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, Commissioner of Public Lands and Insurance Commissioner, but Incumbent Democrat Bob Ferguson was favored for Attorney General. Many Republicans also did well in these races statewide.

For the U.S. Senate, county voters preferred Incumbent Democrat Patty Murray from a list of 17 candidates. Republican Chris Vance came in a close second. Statewide, the voters leaned much more toward Murray. The race will be decided between the two in the general election.

Republican Incumbent Dan Newhouse was led the race for Congressional District 4 U.S. Representative in Okanogan County. Democrat Doug McKinley was second in the five person contest. Statewide Clint Didier took second, so they will meet in November to battle it out at the polls.

All totaled, there were 9,329 counted for a voter turnout of 42.92 percent. The Okanogan County Auditor’s office does not have an estimate of how many votes may remain to be counted. The total counted to this point does not inclue ballots that may continue to be received in the mail with a postmark on or before election day or ballots with signature issues that must be corrected before they are counted.