Republican Damian Greene has moved ahead of Democrat Nathan Howard in what previously was shaping up to be a two-Democrat race for the Island County commissioner, District 1 position.
The certified final results of the primary election show Democrat Melanie Bacon as the top vote-getter for the seat with 5,781 votes, or 36.77 percent.
Greene closed the narrowing gap with Howard and earned the second spot on the Nov. 3 ballot by 100 votes. Greene now has 3,069 votes, or 19.52 percent. Howard has 2,969 votes, or 18.89 percent.
“I’m delighted to watch the trajectory change in the election,” Greene said.
He compared viewing the changing election results to watching a football game.
“It was like a Seahawks game,” Greene said with a laugh, adding that it was akin to a “fourth-quarter win.”
Greene said he was most surprised to see the larger percentage of people who voted blue instead of red. For example, Greene referred to the 2008 race for the position, which current Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson ended up winning.
During the primary election 12 years ago, nearly 34 percent of the votes were cast for Republican candidates.
In this year’s primary, Greene was the only Republican running for the position. His opponent Republican Gary Wray dropped out of the race, but still received 1,191 votes, or 7.58 percent.
Though this year’s race was close, there was no vote recount.
Island County Elections Supervisor Michele Reagan said for a recount to happen, two requirements need to be met in Washington state.
There must be less than 150 votes separating the candidates and less than a quarter of one percent of the total votes cast.
“At one point, it looked like there was going to be [a recount],” Reagan said. “But the next count took it back out of that mandatory recount range.”
She described this year’s primary as having a “record” voter turnout, with 37,239 ballots cast, or 62.89 percent.
Greene said a lot of people were reaching out to him about environmental projects, such as restoring the salmon to Maxwelton Creek.
“I could tell people were excited from the phone calls and emails,” he said.
The counts may have shifted slightly, but there are no other big surprises in the certified final results of the primary election.
In the District 2 race for Island County Commissioner, Republican Jill Johnson continues to lead with 2,756 votes, or 36.24 percent. Republican Dan Evans has 2,155 votes, or 28.34 percent.
In the Legislative District 10 race for state senator, the first and second vote getters have flipped. Republican Ron Muzzall has 32,022 votes, or 50.8 percent. Democrat Helen Price Johnson has 30,943 votes, or 49.09 percent.
The same has happened in the Position 2 state representative race. Republican Bill Bruch now has 30,248 votes, or 48.68 percent. Democrat Dave Paul trails him with 29,215 votes, or 47.02 percent.
Republican Greg Gilday has 28,368 votes, or 46.23 percent, in the Position 1 state representative race. Democrat Angie Homola has 16,004 votes, or 26.08 percent.
Democrat Rick Larsen still has a leg up on the competition in the race to be Congressional District 2 U.S. Representative, with 120,694 votes, or 48.51 percent. Republican Timothy Hazelo has 37,104 votes, or 14.91 percent.
An earlier version of this story included primary election results based on data from only Island County voters. It has been updated to include voter data from all of Legislative District 10 and Congressional District 2.