Morse edges ahead in fire district race

Incumbent Larry Morse slightly increased his lead over challenger Jerry Goen in the tight race for a seat on the North Whidbey Fire and Rescue commission.

The Island County Auditor’s Office counted a second batch of ballots Thursday, but little changed in Central and North Whidbey races. As of Friday morning, 20,511 ballots were received, which is a 43-percent voter turnout rate.

Morse had 1,759 votes and Goen had 1,716 ballots cast in his favor in the latest count. That’s a margin of 43 votes, up from the 38-vote difference at last count.

Scott Dudley maintained his lead over Gerry Oliver in the race for a seat on the Oak Harbor City Council. Dudley has 1,396 votes and Oliver has 1,184.

In the Coupeville Town Council race, Tom Tack is ahead of Sue Cunningham by 304 to 242 votes.

In a contested race for a position on Cemetery District 1 commission, Susan Byington is ahead of Jim Smith by 2,511 to 2,167 votes. The district covers Oak Harbor.

It appears that voters in Island and Snohomish counties approved an increase in the property tax levy rate to fund the Sno-Isle Library District. Island County voters just barely approved of the measure, with 9,898 voting to approve and 9,639 voting to reject.

But voters in Snohomish County were more decisive in their approval, with 50,690 voting in favor and 46,686 voting against.

Island County voters mimicked statewide voters in casting ballots on a well-publicized initiative and referendum.

County voters soundly rejected Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033, which would have limited tax increases in state and local government. A total of 10,565 people cast ballots against it, while 9,506 voted for it. That’s a margin of more than 5 percent.

In addition, voters in Island County were in favor of Referendum 71, the so-called “everything but marriage” law. In all, 10,760 people voted to approve it and 9,510 voted to reject it. That’s a margin of more than 6 percent.

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