One of Island County’s newly elected officials took office Tuesday afternoon.
Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock swore in Debra Van Pelt as the Island County Clerk during a brief ceremony at the Coupeville Law and Justice Center. Van Pelt’s son, Zach, stood by her side as she raised her hand to take the oath of office.
“It’s a tribute to Debra’s perseverance and hard work to win the election handily,” Hancock said during the ceremony. He is familiar with Van Pelt’s work. She has worked for the past six years as a deputy clerk.
Van Pelt was sworn in the same day the Island County Auditor certified the results of the Nov. 2 general election. She was sworn in before other elected officials because her predecessor, Patricia Terry, was appointed clerk to fill in the remaining term of Sharon Franzen, who retired. Terry was defeated in the August primary.
Van Pelt went on to defeated Carol Ann Fortune in the November general election by garnering 60.12 percent of the vote.
Now that Van Pelt has taken office, she said the first thing she plans on doing is “bringing the office back into a team atmosphere.”
Other newly elected officials will be taking office at a swearing in ceremony in early January 2011.
According to the final election results, Republican Kelly Emerson defeated incumbent Democrat John Dean for position 3 on the Board of Island County Commissioners by garnering 50.41 percent of the vote. Republican Mary Engle was elected Island County Assessor when she defeated incumbent Democrat Dave Mattens by earning 53.22 percent of the vote.
Deputy Treasurer Ana Maria Nunez, a Democrat, will start running the office in January. She defeated Shane Fortune by earning 57.43 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Republican Coroner Robert Bishop easily defeated a challenger to his position. He earned 65.56 percent of the vote over Paul Thompson. Island County Prosecuting Attorney Greg Banks and Sheriff Mark Brown ran unopposed.
More than 76 percent of Island County voters participated in the general election. Of the 47,782 registered voters, 36,513 cast a ballot.