Front-runners emerge in preliminary election results as levy measures receive support


Preliminary results: Herrera Beutler, Democratic challenger likely to move onto November election

Preliminary election results for the August primary election are in as some definitive leads appeared in races at the federal, state and local levels.

Gluesenkamp Perez leads in heavily-contested congressional race

For the U.S. House of Representatives Washington District 3 seat, Democrat challenger Marie Gluesenkamp Perez is ahead of the pack in both Clark County and districtwide as of the first count of ballots on Tuesday night.

In the county, Gluesenkamp Perez garnered about 37.3% of the vote, with incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, coming in second with about 23.6%. Districtwide, Gluesenkamp Perez had about 37.8% of the vote while Herrera Beutler had roughly 24.5%.

Herrera Beutler’s numerous challengers from her own party weren’t able to get enough votes to move onto the November election if the first count of ballots is any indication. Her next-closest GOP challenger, Joe Kent, received about 20.1% of the vote districtwide, and roughly 17.2% in Clark County. Heidi St. John was in fourth place with about 15.1% of votes districtwide and roughly 13.4% in Clark County.

The other five of the nine candidates all had tallies below 4% of the districtwide vote as of the first count. 

Republican state Rep. Vicki Kraft garnered about 3.21%, Democrat Davy Ray had roughly 2.7%, independent candidate Chris Byrd received about 1.9%, Republican Leslie French had about 0.6%, and American Solidarity Party candidate Oliver Black came in at roughly .2%.

The other federal race on the ballot was less exciting. In an 18-candidate race for one of Washington’s two U.S. Senate seats, incumbent Democrat Patty Murray led with about 46.7% of the vote in Clark County and roughly 53.9% statewide. Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley came in second with roughly 26.7% in the county and about 32% statewide.

The Washington Secretary of State race also saw a clear front-runner emerge. 

Incumbent Steve Hobbs led with about 36.2% of the vote in Clark County and roughly 40.8% statewide. Republican Bob Hagglund came in second in Clark County with about 12.3% of the vote, though statewide, Julie Anderson, who ran under the title “Nonpartisan Party,” garnered roughly 13% of all Washington votes counted in the race on Tuesday night. 

Democrats lead over Republicans in state legislative races

A glut of Republican candidates in this year’s primary election for seats in the Washington State Legislature may have divided up votes to push Democrats to the forefront in districts that have historically been held by GOP lawmakers. 

For Washington’s Legislative District 17 Position 1, Democrat Terri Niles led with about 47.5% of the vote in Clark County and 45.4% districtwide as of Tuesday night. The runner-up appearing to head to November’s election is Republican Kevin Waters, who nabbed about 20% of Clark County’s first count and 22.5% of the vote districtwide. Other Republicans Hannah Joy and Anthony Ho came in third and fourth, respectively, with Joy gaining about 17.9% and Ho about 14.2% of the vote districtwide.

For the district’s second position, the incumbent appears to be moving on to the November election but is not leading in preliminary election results. In that race, challenger and Democrat Joe Kear led in the first count with about 47.1% of the vote in Clark County and 46.2% districtwide. Incumbent Republican Paul Harris came in second with about 31% of the vote in the county and 30.9% statewide. Other Republican challengers Earl Bowerman and Justin Forsman came in third and fourth, respectively, with Bowerman getting about 12.3% and Forsman garnering 10.5% of the vote.

Only one race in Washington’s 18th Legislative District saw a definitive lead in the August election, though the second-place candidate was previously deemed ineligible to move forward. 

For the district’s second position seat, Democrat Duncan Camacho led the district’s count with about 46.8%. The second-place candidate, Republican John Ley, gained about 20.3% of the vote. Because of a ruling from a Clark County Superior Court Judge that prohibited counting votes for Ley in this election due to allegations he does not actually live in the district, the third-place candidate, fellow Republican Greg Cheney, moves on after gaining about 19.4% of the vote. A third Republican, Brad Benton, rounded out the four-candidate race with about 13.3% of the vote.

Newcomers will appear on Clark County Council and in sheriff position

The first count of ballots show new faces emerging in county leadership positions in government races with decisive primaries. Clark County Council District 1 had Glen Yung leading the pack as of Tuesday night with about 45.7% of the vote. Hector Hinojosa also looks likely to move on to the November election with roughly 31.2%. Doug Coop garnered 22.8% of the vote.

For District 2, Michelle Belkot led with 43.6% of the vote, and Chartisha Roberts received about 34.6%. Kim Hamlik came in third with about 21.3%.

The first count saw incumbent Richard Rylander in last place in the four-person race for District 5. Sue Marshall led with about 32.8% of the vote, while former state Senator Don Benton held a tight lead over Rick Torres, with about 26.3% to roughly 25.2%, respectively. Rylander, who was appointed earlier this year, garnered 15.3% of the vote.

In the Clark County sheriff race, one of the office’s current high-ranking deputies held the lead as of Tuesday night. Chief Criminal Deputy John Horch received 45.4% of the vote, with Vancouver Police Cpl. Rey Reynolds coming in second with about 37.9%. Sheriff’s deputy David Shook trailed the other two candidates with about 16.3%.

Utility commissioner incumbent likely to win

The race for Clark Public Utilities District 2 commissioner’s seat looks like it will be retained by incumbent Nancy Barnes, as she held a definitive majority of votes as of the first count. Barnes received about 61.3% of the vote, with challenger Don Steinke also likely to move on after gathering roughly 30%. Fellow Challenger Carol Dillin trailed with about 8.2% of the vote.

Levies, public safety tax looking to pass

Clark County’s Proposition 11, which would enact a .1% retail sales tax in the county to fund public safety, received about 60.4% in favor of the measure as of the first count.

Both school district levy renewals had favorable vote tallies which leaned toward an approval as of Tuesday night. La Center School District’s renewal levy garnered 51.1% of the vote in support of the measure, while Ridgefield School District’s similar measure received about 57.5% of the vote in favor of the levy. Both levies are set for rates of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value, the same as the levies set to expire this year.

Measures for fire districts in Clark County were also on track to pass as of the preliminary election results. 

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue’s measure to establish an emergency medical services levy of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value was passing by a supermajority with about 61.8% approval in Clark County and about 61.1% districtwide. 

Clark County Fire District 6’s renewal of its own EMS levy for 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed value received about 78.7% approval, and Clark County Fire District 10’s levy lid lift from 82 cents to $1.35 per $1,000 received about 63% of the vote in favor. Both the renewal and lid lift only require a simple majority approval. 

The first count of ballots tallied a turnout of about 20.8% of Clark County voters with roughly 68,000 ballots counted. Clark County Elections estimates about 40,000 ballots are left to count. The next count is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3.


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