OKANOGAN – In the second count of the Nov. 7 general election it still appears incumbents have the edge over challengers in the races for city government positions in Oroville and Tonasket.
While results remain unofficial and election authorities say there are more votes out there to be tallied, Oroville’s incumbent mayor, Ed Naillon remains in the lead over challenger Chris Allen by a margin of more than four to one. In the Friday, Nov. 9 count, Naillon had 296 votes (79.95) to Allen’s 72 (19.51%). This latest tally represents a slight gain by Allen, but statistically he will be unable to overcome Naillon’s lead.
Incumbent Tasha Shaw’s lead over Paul Bouchard has narrowed in the second count. Shaw has 183 votes (51.55%) to his 172 (48.45%) for Oroville Council Position 1. Long-time councilman, Walt Hart III, still has a comfortable, but smaller, lead in the second count over his Oroville Council Position 4 challenger, Robert Fuchs, with 212 (59.72%) to Fuch’s 141 (36.72%).
Incumbents Richard Werner and Kolo Moser each ran unopposed for Oroville Council Positions 3 and 5, respectively.
For Tonasket City Council Position 5, incumbent Jeff McMillan maintains a thin lead over Dalana Potter, but the spread has increased over the election night count where he only led by two votes. McMillan now has 122 votes (51.26%) and Potter has 114 (47.90%). 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 151 (61.6%) to Kriner’s 91 (37.14%). Incumbent Alicia Weddle ran unopposed for Tonasket City Council Position 4.
In what was probably one of the most watched matchups, a three-way race for Oroville School Director District 5, write-in candidate Adam Beardsley is still out in front of Debra Nesper and Bryan Zeski. Beardsley has 434 (39.85%), Nesper has 353 (33.18%) and Zeski has 287 (26.97%) in a contest where the incumbent was knocked out in the primary election. The Friday count represents a slight increase in Beardsley’s lead over the election night count
Incumbent Justine Salazar, an appointee to the school board, was unchallenged for Oroville School Director District 1.
There were three contested races 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 825 (55.78%) votes cast in her favor to Valentine’s 629 (42.53%). There were 25 write-in ballots. Incumbent Joyce Fancher leads Debbie Roberts for Tonasket School Director District 3. Fancher has 879 votes (53.73%) to Robert’s 746 (45.60%). Eleven people cast write-in votes. Another incumbent, Jennie Wilson, maintains a small lead in the race for Tonasket School Director District 5 against challenger Ken Catone. Wilson had 808 (51.20%) in the Friday’s count and Catone had 760 (48.16%). There were 10 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 1,735 (67.56%) votes in the first count and Holan had 825 (32.13%). 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 40.66 percent voter turnout for the Nov. 7 general election and 10,510 votes were cast. An estimated 468 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 Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. The election counts are considered unofficial until they are certified. Certification is scheduled for Nov. 28.