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 the criminal justice and fire protection costs is failing again, according to the early ballot counts.
The measure, which would go into effect on April 1 of next year received 40 votes for and 52 against in the vote count on election day. Those numbers changed somewhat in the second vote count held last Friday, however it still trailed with 59 votes (47.2 percent) in favor and 66 (52.8 percent) against.
The election won’t be certified until Tuesday, Nov. 25.
The Tonasket EMS was passed, easily gathering nearly 70 percent of the ballots cast in favor of the 10-year levy.
The Tuesday night ballot count shows challenger Scott Vejraska with a 327 vote lead over incumbent David Womack for Okanogan County PUD Commissioner. That number had nearly doubled to 614 in the second vote count held Friday.
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 was in the only other local candidate with a challenger, had a healthy lead over would-be assessor Les V. Stokes.
Furman was leading in his bid for a return to the assessor’s position on Tuesday. The Friday vote count had Furman with 5,366 votes compared to challenger Les V. Stokes with 3,301.
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.