Jefferson County general election outcomes unchanged after second vote count

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — As predicted by Jefferson County Auditor Donna Eldridge on Tuesday night, the initial winners sustained their general election victories after a count of outstanding ballots on Friday that brought voter turnout to 83.4 percent.

Percentages changed only slightly in the results that underscored the reelection of Jefferson County Commissioners

Phil Johnson and David Sullivan, both Democrats, and the election of Keith Harper as the county’s sole Superior Court judge.

The Jejferson County Auditor’s Office counted an additional 3,597 votes Friday, bringing the total votes cast in the all-mail election to 18,979 out of 22,756 ballots issued to registered voters.

The next count will be at about noon next Friday, Nov. 16.

Eldridge said that her office has about 1,000 votes left to count. Of those, 912 must be transcribed to new ballots and 87 are in need of signature verification.

The voter turnout, when those remaining ballots are taken into account, is at 87.79 percent.

Eldridge had predicted a final turnout of 89.83 percent.

Vote totals in contested races after Friday’s count were:

■ Johnson, 66, took 10,552 votes, or 59.66 percent, to the 7,094 votes, or 40.11 percent, received by former Port Townsend City Councilman Geoff Masci, 64, a Republican.

■ Sullivan, 60, won 10,183 votes, or 57.93 percent, compared with the 7,357 votes, or 41.85 percent, taken by Republican Tim N. Thomas, 42, of Irondale.

■ In the Superior Court Judge’s contest, the only other race for county elected office, Keith C. Harper, 59, a Port Townsend attorney, won 10,147 votes, or 60.51 percent, to 55-year-old Quilcene attorney Bierbaum’s 6,557 votes, or 39.10 percent.

While the new totals did not change the outcome each race found a narrowing of the victory margin by about 1 percent.

Thomas and Masci conceded their races on Tuesday night.

Bierbam issued her concession statement on Thursday.

“I congratulate Keith on his well-earned victory in the election,” she said.

“It was an honor to have run in the campaign with him. I know he will be a superb Superior Court judge.”

Two parks and recreation measures, both of which required simple majorities to pass, were approved in Coyle and Brinnon.

The 340 voters in the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation District No. 1 voters cast 157 votes, or 56.27 percent, in favor to 122, or 43.73 percent, opposed to continue a levy to fund the Coyle-area Toandos Community Center.

The levy continues the existing rate first imposed in 2006 of 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation for another six years.

Brinnon voters cast 460 votes, or 61.09 percent, in favor to 293, or 39.81 percent, opposed to creat the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation District No. 2, which will cover the area of the Brinnon School District.

There are 1,000 registered voters in the district.

Brinnon voters also elected Bud Schindler, Jacque J. Booth, and Doug Hixon to its board in contested races.

Nichole Black and Sue Bettinger were unopposed.

The board members can propose a property tax levy of up to 60 cents per $1,000 of assessed value and schedule a levy election next year.

Meanwhile, Derek Kilmer maintained a big lead districtwide in the race for U.S. Congress on Friday.

Kilmer, a Gig Harbor Democrat and Port Angeles native, had 157,025 votes to Tacoma Republican Bill Driscoll’s 110,760 votes for a 58.6 percent to 41.4 percent lead.

Kilmer led with 60.0 percent of the vote on Election Day.

The two were vying for the seat held by 18-term 6th Congressional District Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, who is retiring.

The 6th Congressional District includes Clallam and Jefferson counties.

Here are the results of the state legislative races as of Friday:

■ Democratic incumbent Kevin Van De Wege of Sequim was leading Craig Durgan 40,685 votes to 22,690 votes — a 64.2 percent margin — in the race for 24th Legislative District Position 1.

■ Democratic incumbent Steve Tharinger of Sequim was leading Steve Gale 37,839 votes to 26,921 votes — a 58.4 percent margin — in the race for 24th Legislative District Position 1.

■ Democratic incumbent Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam was leading Larry Carter 42,034 votes to 22,149 votes — a 65.5 percent margin — in the race for state Senator.

The 24th legislative District includes Clallam and Jefferson counties.
________
Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen contributed to this report.

Last modified: November 09. 2012 5:23PM
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