McComas ahead in Jefferson Healthcare board race; Van Hoover awaits next count

Bruce McComas

Bruce McComas

PORT TOWNSEND — Bruce McComas holds a narrow lead over Cheri Van Hoover in the contest for a Jefferson Healthcare hospital commission seat after the initial count of general election ballots.

As of Tuesday night, McComas had 51.66 percent of the vote, just over Van Hoover’s 48.34 percent — or 5,519 votes over Van Hoover’s 5,164.

“I’m happy with the results that came out last night,” McComas said Wednesday.

A second count of ballots in the all-mail election is planned today.

Van Hoover isn’t counting herself out yet in the tight race for Hospital District 2 commissioner, Position 1.

“At this point, nothing is certain,” Van Hoover said Wednesday. “We’re just waiting for updated results to come in as more ballots are counted.”

McComas said it’s his experience in business, his work on nonprofit boards and his past volunteer work in the community and at the hospital that set him apart from Van Hoover.

“There’s already a nurse midwife on the board, there’s a retired doctor, but no one with a business background,” McComas said.

McComas ran his campaign on his unique skill set, saying it would be an addition to the board that they don’t currently have.

He also talked about the work he did at Jefferson Healthcare, serving on committees to help better patient access to care.

Van Hoover, a nurse midwife and a health policy instructor, said she heard from voters that her qualifications and background in health services were her biggest selling points as a candidate.

“I also heard from people that they liked my integrity,” Van Hoover said.

McComas said his only regret was the money spent campaigning.

“I’m a little disappointed that between my opponent and I, we spent something like $50,000,” McComas said. “There’s just so many better things that money could go to.”

In the precinct results for Tuesday’s election, the two also finished close to each other in almost every voting precinct, often only beating each other by roughly 10 votes in multiple precincts.

The two candidates also finished neck-and-neck in the August primary vote, with Van Hoover winning 3,416 votes to McComas’ 3,132 votes.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.