Island County primary may result in recounts

The winners of two hotly contested county races will be moving on to November’s general election.

The primary election results remain very tight.

Democrat Karla Jacks led the vote count in the race for District 3 Island County commissioner with 3,103 votes, or 48.79 percent, at the last county Thursday.

“We’re very pleased,” said Jacks, of Camano Island. “I was surprised. I thought I would do well, but I didn’t think I’d do as well as I did. I appreciate the confidence they have in me.”

Retired Navy Chief Rick Hannold narrowly held the second slot after he pulled ahead by 47 votes after being in a virtual dead heat with fellow Republicans Mark Hennemann and Aubrey Vaughan.

As of Thursday’s count, Hannold has 941 votes, or 15.24 percent, Vaughan has 894 votes, or 14.48 percent, Hennemann has 872 votes, or 14.12 percent, and Kelly Bagley, also a Republican, trails with 455 votes, or 7.37 percent.

“I’m really happy,” Hannold said. “I think the other candidates ran a good race and are all qualified in their own ways. It was tight, as I expected it to be. But I bring more real-world experience to the table.”

Vaughan, who will serve as the appointed District 3 commissioner until the November election, said he is disappointed he won’t be competing in the general election.

“I got in so late,” said Vaughan, who was the last candidate to declare his candidacy in May. “I was an unknown and I haven’t lived here very long.”

Nevertheless, Vaughan is pleased with how much support he received and said he will be “very happy” if Hannold wins the seat because he ran a good campaign.

Only voters within District 3 cast ballots for the commissioner primary, but the winner will be decided by a county-wide vote in the general election.

Incumbent Treasurer Ana Maria Nuñez took 45 percent of the vote in the primary. She said she is happy she leads the other candidates but hoped to receive more votes going into the general election.

Nuñez said her focus now will be “convincing or assuring” voters that they can continue to have faith in her as treasurer.

“I am the best qualified candidate,” Nuñez said.

It appears Nuñez’s former deputy treasurer Wanda Grone will be her opponent in November.

“I am cautiously hopeful,” said Grone, a Republican. “I’m glad to see it’s so close, it shows a lot of people cared about this race. I’m also encouraged that a lot of Republicans voted.”

It appears that Grone defeated escrow manager Christa Canell, also a Republican, by a mere 12 votes as of Thursday’s count.

An automatic mandatory recount is required in races that are “less than 150 votes and also less than one-fourth of one percent of the total number of votes cast,” according to state law.

The Auditor’s Office said that both the District No. 3 commissioner and treasurer races will require an automatic recount.

In other races, Island County Auditor Sheilah Crider won 9,259 votes, or 57 percent, against challenger Rebecca Wagner, who received 6,918 votes, or 42.76 percent.

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown, Prosecutor Greg Banks, Coroner Robert Bishop and County Clerk Debra Van Pelt all ran uncontested.

A total of 18,715 ballots were recorded in the primary election, a nearly 37 percent voter turnout.

Crider said Thursday that 32-26 percent is typical turnout for a non-presidential primary election.

An updated county vote tally will not be posted until the totals are certified on Aug. 19.

Results of any write-in candidacies will also be revealed at certification.

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