By Don Nelson
Some clear frontrunners were emerging in local elections following the first general election voting tallies from the Okanogan County Auditor’s Office Tuesday night.
In countywide races:
• Cari Hall led Randy Gates in the race to fill the county auditor’s position being vacated by Laurie K. Thomas. Hall, who currently works in the auditor’s office, drew 66 percent of the vote in early returns. Gates, a former employee at the auditor’s office, was drawing about 34 percent of the vote.
• Incumbent District 3 County Commissioner Jim DeTro appeared to be on the way to winning another term, drawing 57 percent of the vote in early returns. His opponent, Salley Bull, had about 43 percent of the first returns.
• Arian Noma was drawing 61 percent of the vote for the county prosecuting attorney’s position, while Branden Platter – who is the current prosecuting attorney by appointment – had about 39 percent of the vote.
• Tony Hawley was leading the race to fill the Okanogan County sheriff’s position being vacated by Frank Rogers. Hawley drew about 56 percent of the first returns compared to Steve Brown’s 44 percent. Both are currently employees of the sheriff’s office.
Unopposed local candidates in the election were:
• Larry Gilman, running to replace County Assessor Scott Furman, who retired.
• County Clerk Charleen Groomes.
• County Coroner David Rodriguez
• County Treasurer Leah Mc Cormack.
• Okanogan County District Court judges Robert Grim and Charles Short.
• William Coylar, seeking the Okanogan County Public Utility District position No. 2 seat.
In the Washington state 12th Congressional District, which includes Okanogan County, Republican Keith Goehner was leading Independent Ann Diamond, with 58 percent of the vote compared to Diamond’s 42 percent, for the Position 2 seat, according to the Secretary of State’s office. In Okanogan County, Diamond – a Methow Valley resident – was outpolling Goehner, 54 percent to 46 percent. The winner will replace Cary Condotta, who is resigning from the Legislature.
In the 12th District race for Position 2, incumbent Republican Mike Steele was leading Democrat Valerie Sarratt with 66 percent of the early returns compared to Sarratt’s 34 percent, the Secretary of State’s office reported. Sarratt, a Democrat, lives in Twisp. In Okanogan County, it was little closer, with Steele drawing 55 percent of the vote compared to Sarratt’s 45 percent.
Fourth Congressional District incumbent Republican Dan Newhouse was outdistancing Democrat challenger Christine Brown district-wide, 65 percent to 35 percent, according to the Secretary of State’s office. In Okanogan County, Newhouse was drawing 62 percent of the votes against Brown’s 38 percent.
In the Fifth Congressional District, incumbent Republic Cathy McMorris Rodgers was leading Democrat challenger Lisa Brown with 56 percent of the counted votes compared to Brown’s 44 percent, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell seemed on the way to an easy re-election with 59 percent of the vote compared to Republican challenger Susan Hutchison’s 41 percent. In Okanogan County, those figures were reversed, with Hutchison outpolling Cantwell 59 percent to 41 percent.
The results statewide and in Okanogan County for statewide ballot measures:
• I-1631, 44 percent yes, 56 percent no statewide; 28 percent yes, 72 percent no in Okanogan County.
• I-1634, 55 percent yes, 45 percent no statewide; 62 percent yes, 38 percent no in Okanogan County.
• I-1639, 60 percent yes, 40 percent no statewide; 36 percent yes, 64 percent no in Okanogan County.
• I-940, 59 percent yes, 41 percent no statewide; 46 percent yes, 54 percent no in Okanogan County.
The Okanogan County Auditor’s Office reported that about 4,500 ballots remain to be counted. The next vote tallies will be released on Friday (Nov. 9).
For complete county results, visit http://results.vote.wa.gov/results/current/Okanogan. For statewide results, visit https://results.vote.wa.gov/results/current.