OKANOGAN – Early Primary Election results show the two incumbent candidates seeking returns to North Okanogan County offices, Helen Casey for North Valley Hospital Commissioner, and Ernesto Cerrillo for Tonasket School Board, way out ahead in the first count of ballots on election day, Tuesday, Aug. 1.
Casey was challenged for Hospital Commissioner, District 4 At Large, by Marylou Kriner and Jean Pfiefer. Casey received 547 votes, or 48.28 percent of the total. It looks like it is too close to call about who will be the second name on the ballot in the Nov. 7 General Election, with Kriner getting 297 votes, or 26.04 percent and Pfeifer getting 273 votes, or 24.10 percent.
Cerrillo is running for a return to the Tonasket School Board for Director District 4 and received 307 votes or 47.16 percent of those counted. He was challenged by Allen Godwin, who got 232 votes, 35.64 percent and Rene Maldonado, 106, 16.28 percent.
Voters in the Tonasket School District had four candidates to chose from on the ballot in the race for Director District 2. Jeff Yeckel, a former school district employee, leads the pack with 227 votes, 35.14 percent; followed by Clint Duchow, 165 votes, 25.54 percent; Robert P. Wilson 157 votes, 24.30 percent and Michael Turnington, 87 votes, 13.47 percent.
Okanogan County voters were also asked to cast their ballots for Seventh District Senator and a Representative. Both offices are for short terms as the current office holders were recently appointed – Shelly Short as Senator after Sen. Brian Dansel was called to work for the Trump Administration in the Agriculture Department, and Jacquelin Maycumber, when she was appointed to take Short’s place as Representative.
Okanogan County voters cast 1,741 votes for Short, a Republican and 688 for Karen Hardy, a Democrat. Maycumber, a Republican received 1,682 and Susan Swanson, a Democrat, 722. District-wide the two incumbents are leading by at least two-to-one margins, as well.
The ballot count was made by election officials from the Okanogan County Auditor’s office after the polls closed on Tuesday at 8 p.m. The results are unofficial until the election is certified, which is scheduled for Aug. 15. There are approximately 921 ballots that have not been counted. This total includes ballots received in the mail and those ballots that the Canvass Board needs to review. This total does not include any ballots from the drop boxes. The next count will be on Friday, August 4, 2017, with results released at 5 p.m., according to election officials.