By Don Nelson

Independent Ann Diamond of Winthrop was winning Okanogan County in the primary election race among four candidates hoping to replace retiring 12th Legislative District Rep. Cary Condotta for Position 1 in early returns Tuesday (Aug. 7). But Republican Keith Goehner of Leavenworth was leading overall in the multi-county race.

According to the Washington Secretary of State’s office, Goehner was polling about 45 percent of all votes in Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan and Grant counties, which District 12 encompasses, to Diamond’s 29 percent overall. JD Greening of Waterville (prefers Republican) was drawing about 9 percent of the overall vote, while C. Keiki Stacy Weigle of Okanogan (prefers Democratic) had about 16 percent.

In early returns from Okanogan County, Diamond drew 41 percent of the vote to Goehner’s 31 percent. Greening had about 13 percent and Weigle 15 percent in Okanogan County.

In the Position 2 race in the 12th District, Republican incumbent Mike Steele of Chelan had a comfortable overall lead with about 60 percent of the vote. Steele’s challengers are Valerie Sarratt of Twisp (prefers Democratic) with about 33 percent and Alan Fahnestock of Winthrop (no party preference) at about 7 percent. In Okanogan County, Steele was drawing about 52 percent, Sarratt 33 percent and Fahnestock 15 percent.

The top two finishers in each primary race will go on to face each other in the November general election. Unless later results turn things around dramatically, Diamond will face Goehner for Position 1 and Steele will face Sarratt for Position 2 in the 12th District.

In the six-way Okanogan County Sheriff primary race for spots on the November ballot, Anthony Hawley of Okanogan had 27 percent of the votes in early returns, followed by Steve Brown of Omak with 22 percent.

Michael Blake of Okanogan and Jeff Koplin of Tonasket both had about 19 percent, Kevin Newport of Omak 11 percent and Court Creighton of Winthrop 2 percent.

Sheriff Frank Rogers said earlier that he was retiring.

Okanogan County District 3 Commissioner Jim DeTro of Tonasket (prefers Republican) is seeking another term. He is challenged by Salley Bull of Oroville (Independent) and Robert Fuchs of Oroville (Independent). As of Tuesday, DeTro had about 66 percent of the vote compared to 24 percent for Bull and 10 percent for Fuchs. Methow Valley residents don’t vote in the primary, but they will vote for the District 3 position in the November general election.

In other races:

  • County Auditor Laurie K. Thomas did not file for re-election. Filing for the post were Cari Hall of Okanogan (prefers Republican), who drew 57 percent of the vote in early returns, and Randy Gates of Omak (prefers Republican), who polled 43 percent.
  • County Prosecuting Attorney Branden Platter of Omak (prefers Democratic) is being challenged by Arian Noma of Pateros (prefers Republican). Platter was appointed to the position when Karl Sloan resigned. He was trailing Noma in early returns, with 41 percent of the votes compared to Noma’s 59 percent.
  • County Assessor Scott Furman said earlier that he was retiring as well. Only one candidate, Larry Gilman of Omak (prefers Republican), filed for the position.
  • County Clerk Charleen Groomes of Riverside (prefers Republican) is running for re-election and is unopposed.
  • County Coroner David Rodriguez of Twisp (prefers Republican) is also running unopposed for re-election.
  • County Treasurer Leah Mc Cormack of Omak (prefers Republican) is also seeking re-election and is unopposed.
  • Okanogan County District Court judges Robert Grim of Winthrop and Charles Short of Nespelem are both unopposed in their quest for re-election to the nonpartisan positions.
  • William Coylar of Carlton is unopposed for the Okanogan County Public Utility District position No. 2 seat.

In U.S. Congressional District 4, incumbent Dan Newhouse (R-Yakima) is being challenged by Democrat Christine Brown of Kennewick; both will advance to the general election. According to the Secretary of State’s office, Newhouse was drawing about 62 percent of the overall votes on Tuesday compared to Brown’s 38 percent. In Okanogan County, Newhouse was at about 64 percent, Brown at 36 percent.

The Okanogan County Auditor’s office will release the next round of results on Friday (Aug. 10) at 5 p.m. About 2,000 ballots are left to tally, the Auditor’s Office said.

In another closely watched race in U.S. Congressional District 5, incumbent Republican Cathy McMorris-Rogers and Democratic challenger Lisa Brown were in a virtual dead heat with about 47 percent each, according to the Secretary of State’s office.