Hawkins wins 12th District state senate contest over Wyss
By Don Nelson
Challenger Chris Branch maintained his lead over incumbent Okanogan County Commissioner Sheilah Kennedy for the District 1 seat after an updated count of election returns was posted Monday (Nov. 14) by the Okanogan County Auditor’s Office.
In the District 2 contest (which includes the Methow Valley), Andy Hover maintained his lead over Ashley Thrasher in the race to replace incumbent Commissioner Ray Campbell, who did not make it past the primary.
Branch and Hover were both drawing about 53 percent of the votes counted as of Monday. Each had about the same percentage of votes after totals from the first batch of counted ballots were released on Nov. 8.
In the county, early voting trends tend to hold up. If so, that would mean both county commission incumbents will have been defeated, creating a different dynamic on the three-member board. Jim DeTro, the third member, was not up for re-election this year.
But many thousands of ballots remain to be counted. The first batch of counted ballots totaled 7,312. As of 5 p.m. Monday, 11,289 ballots had been tallied and an estimated 6,500 ballots remained to be counted, according to the auditor’s office. The next release of results will be on Thursday (Nov. 17), the auditor’s office said.
In the contentious race for the state Legislative District 12 senate seat (replacing Linda Evans Parlette, who retired), current District 12 Representative Brad Hawkins has defeated Jon Wyss, drawing about 56 percent of the vote district-wide. Wyss conceded last week. Hawkins also led in Okanogan County voting, drawing 61 percent. Both are Republicans.
In other races of note, as of Monday:
• Republican Cary Condotta defeated Democrat Dan Maher to retain his state representative seat in District 12. In the race to fill the District 12 representative seat vacated by Hawkins, Mike Steele defeated Jerry Paine. Both are Republicans.
• Jerry Asmussen was leading Aaron Kester in the race for the District 3 seat on the Okanogan Public Utility District board of commissioners.
• Okanogan County Superior Court judges Henry Rawson and Chris Culp, and District Court Judge Robert Grim, were all re-elected without opposition.
• The Town of Twisp’s Emergency Medical Care and Ambulance Services levy was being approved by a wide margin.
• Democrat Hilary Franz was elected Washington state Commissioner of Public Lands, with 54 percent of the statewide vote compared to Republican Steve McLaughlin’s 46 percent. In Okanogan County, McLaughlin won 64 percent of the vote to Franz’s 36 percent.
• Donald J. Trump was leading Hillary Clinton in Okanogan County with 6,305 votes (58 percent) to Clinton’s 3,980 votes, or 37 percent, in the presidential race. Statewide, Clinton drew 55 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 38 percent.
• In the race for governor, Republican Bill Bryant led among Okanogan County voters with 6,342 votes, or 58 percent, to Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee’s 4,618, or 43 percent. However, Inslee was easily re-elected in statewide voting, drawing 55 percent of the votes.
• In the Fourth Congressional District, incumbent Republican Dan Newhouse was leading Republican challenger Clint Didier in the district-wide balloting, 57 percent to 43 percent. In Okanogan County, Newhouse’s margin was larger: 69 percent to 31 percent.
• Statewide, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Patty Murray defeated Republican challenger Chris Vance, 59 percent to 41 percent. In Okanogan County, the figures were reversed, with Vance drawing 54 percent of the votes to Murray’s 46 percent.