Peninsula Daily News
PORT TOWNSEND — Democrat Kate Dean won a whopping 61.57 percent of the vote and fellow Democrat Tim Thomas won 20.13 percent in the top-two primary election race for the District 1 seat on the Jefferson County commission as the initial votes were counted Tuesday.
Dean won 1,777 votes to Thomas’ 581 votes.
The two led the pack in the top-two primary race that narrows the field to the two candidates who received the most votes. Those two advance to the November general election regardless of party affiliation.
The other two contenders in the race each received slightly more than 8 percent of the vote. Jeff Gallant, a Republican, took 239 votes, or 8.28 percent, while Cynthia Koan, a Democrat, won 235 votes, or 8.14 percent.
Holly Postmus, who filed with no party preference, withdrew from the race last month, too late to have her named removed from the ballot. She gained 54 votes, or 1.87 percent.
The seat was vacated by longtime commissioner Phil Johnson, who decided not to run for a fourth term.
The Jefferson County Auditor’s Office counted 8,497 ballots out of the 23,638 mailed to registered voters, said Betty Johnson, elections coordinator.
The office processed all it had on hand Tuesday, but Johnson expects a large number to arrive in the all-mail election.
“I expect tomorrow to be a big day,” Johnson said Tuesday evening. “We had 2,000 ballots come in” Tuesday “and I expect about the same on Wednesday.”
The next ballot count will be by 2 p.m. Friday, Johnson said.
Dean 41, of Port Townsend, is the manager of the North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation & Development Council.
Thomas, 45, of Port Townsend, is a member of the county’s Parks and Recreation Board. He unsuccessfully challenged District 2 Commissioner David Sullivan in 2012.
Gallant, 59, was the lone Republican running for the seat.
Koan, 53, is the chair of the Jefferson County Planning Commission.
Postmus, 55, of Port Townsend, is a landscaper.
As of Friday, only 5,005 people of the 23,629 registered voters who received ballots had returned them, for a voter turnout of 21.18 percent in the primary election dominated by a plethora of state and regional races.
Several races on the primary ballot were “beauty contests,” meaning they were between only two candidates, and no matter what the primary outcome, both will be on the November ballot.
For more information on election outcomes, see the Jefferson County Auditor’s website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-jeffcoprimary and the Washington Secretary of State website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-primaryresults.