State Legislative District 24’s incumbents Steve Tharinger and Mike Chapman, both Democrats, showed healthy leads over their Republican challengers Wednesday, though ballots are still being counted.
According to the Office of the Secretary of State, Chapman was leading the Position 1 race with 58.63 percent of the vote against his challenger Sue Forde’s 41 percent, and Tharinger was leading the Position 2 race with 57.65 percent to Republican Brian Pruiett’s 42.3 percent after Wendesday’s counts.
District 24 covers Clallam and Jefferson counties and part of Grays Harbor County.
Chapman, who lives in Port Angeles, did best in Jefferson County, where he took 72.78 percent of the vote and also won Clallam County with 54.7 percent.
State data show Forde, a Sequim Republican, was leading Chapman in Grays Harbor County, with 50.53 percent of the vote there to Chapman’s 49.29 percent. Forde won 45.24 percent of the vote in Clallam County and 27.14 percent in Jefferson County.
Chapman — who took office in 2017 — said Wednesday he was always humbled and honored to win an election.
“When your name’s on the ballot, elections are a little stressful,” Chapman said. “Campaigns are hard. Now the real work can begin. Campaigns are about the candidate; governing is about the citizens we represent.”
In a statement, Forde said she was awaiting final vote tallies and looked to the tallies after Thursday’s count as a good indicator of final voting results.
“I want to thank all those who have volunteered and supported our campaign,” Forde said. “We have spent the past months running a grassroots campaign connecting with voters throughout the district.
“There are still many votes to be counted, and every vote makes a difference. We will continue to watch the results as they come in over the next week as we prepare for next steps.”
Tharinger, who lives in Port Townsend and has held his seat since 2011, was heartened by Tuesday’s results, speaking before Wednesday’s tally of ballots.
“I think we tried to really be positive,” Tharinger said. “I tried to focus on things we’re working on for the district.
“I think the voters responded to that,” he said. “It’s better to be for something than against stuff.”
Pruiett, a Carlsborg Republican, did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Tharinger took 72.41 percent of the vote in Jefferson County and 53.46 percent in Clallam County.
Similar to the Position 1 seat, Grays Harbor County voted Republican, with Pruiett leading that county with 51.63 percent of the vote to Tharinger’s 48.28 percent. Pruiett took 46.49 percent of the vote in Clallam County and 27.56 percent in Jefferson County.
According to the Clallam County Auditor’s Office, a total of 28,500 ballots had been counted as of 4:43 p.m. Wednesday, with an estimated 13,000 remaining to be counted. The next tabulation is scheduled for 5 p.m. today.
Jefferson County Election Coordinator Quinn Grewell said Wednesday that, despite original plans to update election results late Wednesday, the county likely would wait until today as staff were still working on receiving and processing ballot envelopes, and the ballots themselves were not yet ready to be counted.
“We have 13 trays that we need to be signature-checked,” Grewell said Wednesday. “I’m fairly confident we will be updating (today).”