By Don Nelson

Preliminary returns from Tuesday’s primary election indicate that incumbent District 2 Okanogan County Commissioner Ray Campbell is trailing challengers Andy Hover and Ashley Thrasher and may not advance to the November general election.

In vote counts released Tuesday night by the Okanogan County Auditor’s office, Hover had 624 votes (42 percent), Thrasher drew 473 votes (32 percent) and Campbell drew 330 votes, or 22 percent. Stan Kvistad trailed with 71 votes, less than 5 percent.

District 2 includes the Methow Valley, which Campbell has represented since he defeated incumbent Bud Hover – Andy Hover’s father – in 2012. In the primary, only District 2 residents voted to determine general election finalists. The entire county will vote in the November election to choose a District 2 commissioner.

District 1 incumbent Sheilah Kennedy drew 272 votes or 29 percent of the vote in a close four-way primary race, followed by Larry W. Schreckengast with 253 votes (27 percent), Chris Branch with 238 votes (26 percent) and Ted Reinbold with 177 votes (19 percent). That race is too close to call until more ballots are counted later this week.

The Town of Twisp’s request for an increase in its local retail sales tax to help fund infrastructure repairs seems headed to approval with 88 yes votes, or 68 percent, and 42 no votes (32 percent) in the first ballot count.

Also on the ballot were two levy proposals by Three Rivers Hospital to generate funds for needed repairs and upgrades at the Brewster facility. Proposition 2, a levy lid lift request, was being approved among Okanogan County voters with 53 percent in favor. Proposition 1, a one-year special levy request, was also leading among Okanogan County residents with 54 percent voting yes, but a 60 percent supermajority is required for its passage. A portion of Douglas County also is within the hospital district.

According to the Auditor’s Office, 3,885 ballots had been counted as of Tuesday night and another 2,647 remain to be counted. The next voting tally will be released on Friday (Aug. 5).

Other locally significant results:

• In the race to replace retiring state Sen. Linda Evans Parlette in the 12th District, which includes the Methow Valley, Brad Hawkins – who has been a state representative for District 12 – leads among Okanogan County voters with 61 percent, while Jon Wyss drew 37 percent. Incumbent state Rep. Cary Condotta led challenger Dan Maher among Okanogan County voters with 54 percent compared to Maher’s 46 percent. In the contest for Hawkins’ seat in the state House of Representatives, Mike Steele drew 43 percent, Danny Stone 20 percent, Garn Christensen 19 percent and Jerry Paine 15 percent among Okanogan County voters.
• In the race for the 4th Congressional District, which includes Okanogan County, incumbent Dan Newhouse drew 48 percent of the county’s voters while his closest challenger, Doug McKinley, had 24 percent.