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McDowell, Smith still have a chance in Island County

Don't count Island County Commissioner Mac McDowell out quiet yet, and the same can be said for 10th District State Rep. Norma Smith.

McDowell, and Oak Harbor Republican with 16 years' experience in office, gained some votes Wednesday afternoon when the Island County Auditor's Office announced another tally. And more votes than expected flooded into the auditor's post office after Tuesday's election, giving McDowell an added dollop of hope.

As of Thursday morning, Oak Harbor Democrat Angie Homola, a newcomer to elective politics, had a 630 vote advantage over McDowell, down from 849 after the initial count on election day. After that count, the auditor's office estimated 6,500 more ballots would come in.

But after Wednesday's count, there were still at least 8,500 vote to count. McDowell would have to gain votes at even a faster rate to overtake Homola's lead, but he was mathematically still in the race. The Auditor's Office plans to count more ballots with an updated number by 6 p.m., Nov. 6.

Also making some headway is Norma Smith, the Republican who was appointed to a vacant position in the State House from the 10th District, which includes Whidbey Island. Smith, a Clinton resident, was losing to Conway Democrat Tim Knue by 591 votes Tuesday night. After Wednesday's count, she narrowed the margin to 533 votes. With 8,500 more votes to count in Island County plus additional vote counting taking place in Skagit and Snohomish counties, she too still have a mathematical chance to win. Two years ago, Knue was ahead of Republican Barbara Bailey of Oak Harbor on election night, but fell behind to stay as more votes were counted as the week progressed.

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