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Proposition 1 trailing badly in Island County primary

The first count of ballots for Tuesday's primary election doesn't look good for Proposition 1, the property tax increase that officials hoped would fill the $2 million hole in Island County's 2011 current expense fund.

A total of 12,277 voters cast their ballots against the property tax levy lid lift, while only 4,868 people voted in favor of it. That's nearly 72 percent of voters who said no.

Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson said she was disappointed in the results, which will mean severe budget cuts.

"There will be significant impacts to public safety and essential services..." she said. "A lot of people will lose their jobs. There's no way around it."

It also appears that the current county clerk, Democrat Patricia Terry, will be eliminated in the primary. The clerk race was the only contest in the county that was affected by the primary. Under the state's "top two" primary system, the top two vote-getters in the primary go on to the general election.

Carol Ann Fortune, a Republican, gathered the most votes, a total of 7,673, which is 45 percent. Debra Van Pelt, a Democrat and a deputy clerk, received 5,179 votes, or 31 percent. Terry got 4,117 votes, which is 24 percent.

In other county races, primary results show that Republican candidates are doing well. Democratic County Commissioner John Dean has fallen behind his Republican rival, Kelly Emerson, by 2,427 to 3,544. Dean has 41 percent and Emerson has 59 percent.

Assessor Dave Mattens, a Democrat, is trailing Republican Mary Engle. He has 7,390 and she has 10,192. That's 42 to 58 percent.

Coroner Robert Bishop, a Republican, is far ahead of challenger Paul Thompson, who's running without a party preference. Bishop garnered 10,731 votes while Thompson has 5,329.

In the race for county treasurer, Republican Shane Fortune is slightly ahead of Democrat Ana Maria Nunez, the current deputy treasurer. Fortune has 8,518 votes and Nunez has 8,146.

In legislative District 10, Rep. Barbara Bailey (R-Oak Harbor) is ahead of challenger Tim Riggs, a Camano Island Democrat, in the early vote count. She has 12,782 ballots cast in her favor, while Riggs has 8,332.

Rep. Norma Smith (R-Clinton) has earned 15,286 votes in the district. The write-in votes for her challenger, Democrat Laura Lewis of Stanwood, haven't been counted yet. She need 1 percent of the vote to get on the November ballot.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, a Democrat representing District 2, has a somewhat tight race against his main rival, Republican John Koster. Voters in the district cast 15,279 votes for Larsen and 13,728 for Koster. Larsen has 45 percent and Kost has just over 40 percent. Democrat Diana McGinness got 1,874 votes, Republican John Carmack got 2,066 and Democrat Larry Kalb received 955.

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