Jefferson County election outcomes unchanged after new ballot count

Voter turnout now at 61.6 percent

PORT TOWNSEND — Two days after Tuesday’s general election, outcomes remained unchanged from the initial ballot counts in Jefferson County races for District 3 commissioner, sheriff and a ballot measure to approve the merger of two fire districts.

According to the website of the Jefferson County Auditor’s Office, 16,997 ballots have been tallied with an estimated 3,989 remaining to be counted as of Thursday at 4:09 p.m. The next ballot count is to be announced about 4 p.m. Monday.

The voter turnout was 61.6 percent. In Clallam County it was 58.27 percent. The statewide turnout was 44.87 percent.

Incumbent District 3 Commissioner Greg Brotherton, a Democrat, led Republican candidate Marcia Kelbon by a 37 percent margin with 11,367 votes (68.2 percent) to Kelbon’s 5,285 (31.7 percent) votes.

On Wednesday, Brotherton said, “I’m really excited to move the county forward on so many issues we have right now.”

These included workforce housing and climate change.

Brotherton had emerged from the Aug. 2 primary with 54.9 percent of the vote while Kelbon had 32.1 percent.

Kelbon said Thursday that she was not ready to say anything about the outcome of the election until the Jefferson County Auditor’s Office had received and counted all of the ballots.

“I just don’t think it’s appropriate to do anything until those have been processed,” Kelbon said. “A lot of people supported this campaign and it wouldn’t be right to say anything before that happens.”

District 3 covers the west and much of south Jefferson County and includes Brinnon, Discovery Bay, Gardiner, Port Ludlow and Quilcene.

In the race for Jefferson County sheriff, incumbent Joe Nole kept his lead over fellow Democrat Art Frank with 10,612 votes (68.15 percent) to Frank’s 4,864 votes (31.24 percent). In the Aug. 2 primary, Nole received 71.55 percent of the vote to Frank’s 27.62 percent.

Neither returned calls requesting comment on Wednesday or Thursday.

Voters in Port Ludlow overwhelmingly approved Proposition No. 1 to merge Jefferson County Fire Protection District No. 3 (also known as Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue) and Jefferson County Fire Protection District No. 1 (also known as East Jefferson Fire Rescue).

Thursday’s ballot count had 2,708 votes (87.4 percent) for the merger and 389 votes (12.6 percent) rejecting it. The merger goes into effect Jan. 1 when Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue will cease to exist as a separate entity and the merged district will be known as East Jefferson Fire Rescue. The two districts have been operating under an interlocal agreement since last year.

Jefferson County, unlike the state at large, voted to maintain two taxes enacted by the state Legislature in advisory votes that appeared on the ballot. Advisory Vote No. 39, which asked voters to decide on increase in aircraft fuel, was repealed statewide, 59 percent to 41 percent, according to the Office of the Secretary of State’s most recent results. Jefferson County voted to maintain it in a vote of 9,119 (57.35 percent) to 6,782 (42.65 percent).

Advisory Vote No. 40, a tax on “transportation network companies,” was repealed statewide, 53 percent to 47 percent. Jefferson County voted to maintain it in a vote of 9,992 (63.2 percent) to 5,828 (36.8 percent).

The reelection of U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat, was approved in Jefferson County by 72.3 percent to Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley’s 27.5 percent. Statewide, Murray beat Smiley 57 percent to 43 percent.

The reelection of U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, a Democrat who’s represented Washington’s 6th Congressional District since 2013, was approved in Jefferson County with 74.1 percent of the vote to Republican Elizabeth Kreiselmaier’s 25.78 percent. Districtwide, Kilmer won 61 percent to 38 percent.

Steve Hobbs, Democratic candidate for the Washington Secretary of State, had 49.63 percent of the vote as of Thursday. In Jefferson County, the vote was 62.92 percent for Hobbs and 35.36 percent for Julie Anderson.

State legislative incumbents Mike Chapman and Steve Tharinger, both Democrats, retained their seats against Republican challengers Sue Forde and Brian Pruiett.

The latest Jefferson County results show Chapman leading Forde 73 percent to 27 percent and Tharinger leading Pruiett 73 percent to 28 percent. Districtwide, Chapman was leading Forde 58 percent to 42 percent and Tharinger leading Pruiett 57 percent to 43 percent.

Jefferson County election results will be certified on Nov. 29.

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Paula Hunt can be reached at 360-425-2345, ext. 50583, or by email at paula.hunt@peninsuladailynews.com.

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