Caton, Neal lead in contest for commissioner seat
The second round of Okanogan County returns from the Aug. 2 primary election continued to show incumbent Sheriff Tony Hawley and challenger Paul Budrow, the police chief in Twisp, as the leading vote-getters to advance to the November general election.
The primary election also appears to have narrowed the field in the contest for the District 3 county commissioner seat. And an unexpected race apparently is now on to fill the county coroner’s position.
In the sheriff’s race, Hawley — who is seeking his second term — drew 3,769 votes (40.3) to Budrow’s 3,537 votes (37.9%) in the updated results posted Friday (Aug. 5) by the Okanogan County Auditor’s Office. A second challenger to Hawley, Kevin Newport of Omak, trailed with 1,909 votes (20.4%). Newport is a sergeant for the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Public Safety Department and former Okanogan County sheriff’s deputy. All three prefer the Republican Party.
In the race to fill the District 3 commissioner seat being vacated by Jim DeTro, Lloyd Caton Jr. of Tonasket (1,262 votes, 37.2%) and Oroville Mayor Jon Neal (1,159 votes, 34.2%) were in a close race to advance to the November election. Two other contenders, Aaron Kester of Tonasket (587 votes, 17.1%) and Kari Alexander of Tonasket (378 votes, 11.2%), trailed. Caton and Neal prefer the Republican Party; Kester and Alexander prefer the Independent Party.
Only District 3 residents vote in the primary. In the general election, all county residents will choose between the top two vote-getters from the primary.
Rojean (Jeannie) Hughes of Tonasket, the only declared candidate for county coroner, drew 5,602 votes or 83.5% of the total — but may face competition in the November general election.
Incumbent David Rodriguez did not file for re-election, but a late write-in effort for Rodriguez apparently generated support, as the 1,104 write-in votes reported by the auditor’s office account for 16.5% of the total cast. Rodriguez filed as a write-in candidate just five days before the election.
If the write-in votes are validated, Rodriguez appears headed for a spot on the November general election ballot.
According to state law, “In a primary, if the name of only a single candidate appears on the ballot for an office, and the total number of write-in votes cast for that office exceeds 1% of the total number of votes cast for that office, the individual write-in votes for each candidate who has filed a timely declaration of write-in candidacy must be canvassed and reported.”
Chief Deputy Auditor Jamie Groomes said in an email that “If the declared write-in candidate receives 1% or more [of the vote] … the declared write-in candidate will move forward to the general election with the name being printed on the ballot.”
The next vote tally will be issued on Wednesday (Aug. 10).
In other results:
- An excess tax levy renewal request by Three Rivers Hospital (Hospital District 1) was being approved with 67% of the voters in Okanogan and Douglas counties supporting the request (2,394 yes votes to 1,180 no).
- Filing for re-election, and drawing no challengers, were County Assessor Larry Gilman and County Auditor Cari Hall. Each had drawn about 97% of the votes.
- Susan Speiker of Oroville, the only candidate for county clerk, drew 97% of the vote. Incumbent Laurie Groomes did not file for re-election.
- Albert Lin, the incumbent county prosecuting attorney and only candidate for the position, drew about 97% of the vote.
- Pam Anderson, the only candidate for county treasurer, drew about 97% of the vote. Incumbent Leah Mc Cormack did not file for re-election.
Federal, state races
- In the 4th District congressional race, incumbent Republican Dan Newhouse had drawn about 25.5% of the counted votes in district-wide returns as of Saturday (Aug. 6), while Democrat Doug White was the leading challenger with about 25.4% of the vote. Republican and former gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp was in third with about 21%. Five other challengers trailed, none garnering more than 12%. The top two vote-getters advance to the November general election. In Okanogan County, White drew 31% of the votes, Culp about 29% and Newhouse 22.5%.
- In Washington state Legislative District 7, which now includes Okanogan County, incumbent state Sen. Shelly Short was unopposed. Incumbent State Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, who was challenged by Lonny Ray Williams of Republic, drew about 71% of the counted district-wide votes to Williams’ 27%. In Okanogan County, Maycumber drew about 75% of the votes to Williams’ 22%. Incumbent state Rep. Joel Kretz had no challengers.
Full results will be reported in next week’s Methow Valley News. For complete statewide results, visit https://results.vote.wa.gov/results/20220802/default.htm.