Vejraska leads Womak, Rodriquez new coroner, Furman still assessor
OKANOGAN – It looks like a measure increasing the sales tax by 0.1 percent to raise revenue for criminal justice and fire protection costs is failing again, according to the early ballot counts Tuesday, Nov. 4.
The measure, which would go into effect on April 1 of next year, received 40 votes for and 52 against in the ballot count on election day. However, there are several outstanding by-mail votes still out there, according to election officials and another count will take place on Friday, Nov. 7. The election won’t be certified until Tuesday, Nov. 25.
The Tuesday night ballot count shows challenger Scott Vejraska with a 327 vote lead over incumbent David Womak for Okanogan County PUD Commissioner, District 1. The early results in the general election also show David Rodriguez far outpacing Gary V. Reams for the newly created elective position of county coroner. An elected coroner was required when county population numbers reached 41,000. Scott Furman, who is the only other local candidate with a challenger, had a healthy lead over would-be assessor Les V. Stokes.
While the Tonasket measure was failing, the Tonasket EMS District 10-year levy seems to be popular with voters, who are comprised of those who live within the Tonasket School District. The Emergency Medical Care Service levy was leading by more than two to one as of Tuesday night. There were 701 votes (67.99 percent) in favor and 330 (32.01 percent) against.
Despite a big win statewide, Okanogan County Voters didn’t like Initiative 594, which would close the gun show loophole in favor of background checks. “This measure would apply currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions,” reads the ballot.
They also disagreed with the majority of voters and supported Initiative 591, which went down statewide. “This measure would prohibit government agencies from confiscating guns or other firearms from citizens without due process, or from requiring background checks on firearm recipients unless a uniform national standard is required.”
County voters preferred incumbents for Seventh District Legislative offices. Brian Dansel had a huge lead in the county over challenger Tony Booth for state senate. District-wide Republican Dansel was leading by more than 11,000 votes over his fellow Republican
Republicans Shelly Short and Joel Kretz were also leading by more than 2000 votes in the county over their opponents, James R. Apker and Ronnie Rae, respectively. District-wide Short had 80 percent of the vote against challenger Apker, a Libertarian and Kretz had 82 percent against Rae, a Centralist.
While Clint Didier was edging out Dan Newhouse in Okanogan County, the early tally of voters throughout the 4th Congressional District shows a preference for Newhouse. Both Republican candidates have thrown their hats in the ring to take over the Congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Richard “Doc” Hastings.
For all the local election results see the Auditor’s Website: Election Results