Incumbents lead challengers, while write-in candidate out in front

In the election night count it appears incumbents have the edge over challengers in the races for city government in North County.

Election 2023 Graphic

OKANOGAN – In the unofficial election night count of the general election it appears the incumbents have the edge over challengers in the races for city government positions in Oroville and Tonasket, some by large margins while other races are much closer.

While this was the first count and election officials say there are more votes out there to be tallied, Oroville’s incumbent mayor, Ed Naillon, is leading challenger Chris Allen by more than four to one. In Tuesday night’s ballot count, Naillon had 214 votes (81.68) to Allen’s 47 (17.94%). There was one write-in vote.

In a closer race, incumbent Tasha Shaw led Paul Bouchard with 136 votes (53.54%) to his 118 (46.46%) for Oroville Council Position 1. Long-time councilman, Walt Hart III, has a comfortable lead over his opponent for Oroville Council Position 4, Robert Fuchs, with 161 (63.14%) to Fuch’s 93 (36.47%).

Incumbents Richard Werner and Kolo Moser each ran unopposed for Oroville Council Positions 3 and 5, respectively.

In what was probably one of the most watched match-up, a three-way race for Oroville School Director District 5, write-in candidate Adam Beardsley is currently out front of Debra Nesper and Bryan Zeski. Beardsley has 278 (37.22%), Nesper has 258 (34.54%) and Zeski has 211 (28.25%) in a contest where the incumbent was knocked out in the primary election.

Incumbent Justine Salazar, an appointee to the school board, was unchallenged for Oroville School Director District 1.

For Tonasket City Council Position 5, incumbent Jeff McMillan has a razor-thin two-vote lead over Dalana Potter. McMillan has 80 votes (50.31%) and Potter has 78 (49.06%). There was also one write-in vote cast. Incumbent Ernesto Cerrillo is leading former Tonasket Mayor Marylou Kriner for a return to the Tonasket City Council in Position 2. Cerrillo has 95 (58.64%) to Kriner’s 66 (40.74%). Incumbent Alicia Weddle ran unopposed for Tonasket City Council Position 4.

There were three contested contests for the Tonasket School Board this go around. Racqel Plank is ahead of Pete Valentine in the race for Tonasket School Director District 2. Plank had 551 (56.92%) votes cast in her favor to Valentine’s 401 (41.43%). There were 16 write-in ballots. Incumbent Joyce Fancher leads Debbie Roberts for Tonasket School Director District 3. Fancher has 551 votes (51.21%) to Robert’s 519 (48.23%). Six people cast write-in votes. Another incumbent, Jennie Wilson, leads the race for Tonasket School Director District 5 against challenger Ken Catone. Wilson had 519 (50.44%) in the election night count and Catone had 504 (48.98%). There were six write-in votes cast for this position as well.

In the one contested race to be on the North Valley Hospital District Board, Stephanie Steinman is well ahead of Tina Nolan for Commissioner District 4 At Large. Steinman had 1,205 (69.45%) votes in the first count and Holan had 524 (30.2%). There were six write-in ballots cast. Incumbent Jerry Bradley was unchallenged for his Hospital District 4 Commissioner District 2 seat, although there were 18 write-in votes.

According to the Okanogan County Auditor’s office, there was a 27.41 percent turnout for the Nov. 7 general election and 7,084 votes were cast. An estimated 803 votes remain to be counted. The “Estimated Ballots Left to Count” does not include 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 can be counted, according to election officials. The next ballot count is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 9 at 5 p.m. The election counts are considered unofficial until they are certified. Certification is scheduled for Nov. 28.