Initial results in the Grays Harbor Primary panned out pretty much as expected, with Vickie Raines (NP) besting four* opponents in the county commissioner race and partisan races going Blue.
The only commish contender with substantive experience in local government, Raines turned in impressive primary numbers, leading her nearest competitor Al “That’s a woman for ya” Smith (D) by over 300 votes. Smith, whose sexist comments would’ve torpedoed any Republican but got a pass from Grays Harbor Democrats, finished with 1,180 votes (26.52%) to Raines’s 1,484 (33.36%). Keith Olson (R) finished third with 1,122 votes (25.22%). Jim Heikel (I) trailed a distant fourth with 663 votes (14.9%).
*Yep, you read that right. Four. Besides out-pacing her three official opponents, Raines also bested a certain Democrat Commissioner (hi, Frank Gordon) who may have stepped in it big time by trying to play commish kingmaker.
Incumbents easily beat back challenges in other races. No real surprises here. Incumbent Steve Tharinger (24th, Pos. 2 – D) coasted to a primary win over Thomas Greisamer (R), 55.53% to 36.46%. Incumbent Kevin Van De Wege (24th, Pos. 1 –D) ran unopposed. Dean Takko (19th, Pos. 1 – D) stomped David Steenson (L), 74.33% to 25.67%. Brian Blake (19th, Pos. 2 – D) upended nearest challenger Hugh Fleet (R), 64.86% to 25.34%.
As expected, incumbent Russ Skolrood posted a strong showing in the race for PUD Commissioner, District 3. Skolrood garnered 48.04% of the vote to nearest challenger John Straka’s 26.96%.
The one sort-of surprise of the evening occurred in the Assessor’s race, where challenger Dan Lindgren (D) captured a whopping 43.09% of the vote. Lindgren easily out-distanced his two opponents, including incumbent Rick Hole (NP), who finished with 29.76% of the vote.
Scare-mongering and a full-court media press carried the day for the Proposed Hospital District 2 measure, which won 61.42% to 38.58%. The lack of any organized opposition to the measure didn’t help. The good news: 3,711 Grays Harbor voters didn’t buy what the Chicken Little crowd was selling. The not-so-good-news: 5,909 did. Hold on to your wallet!
Click here for full results.
The top two finishers in each race advance to the general in November. The next ballot count is August 8. This is going to be fun!
Photo credit: Own work.