Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Daily News Election Roundup

Largent takes lead in primary

Whitman Co. officials expect up to 2,500 more ballots to be counted

Michael Largent emerged as the leader in the race to be the Republican candidate for Whitman County commissioner District 3.

Largent had received 607 votes as of 8 p.m. Tuesday, when initial results of the primary election were released by Whitman County Election Supervisor Debbie Hooper.

Largent led fellow Republican candidates James R. White (375 votes), Harmon Smith (358 votes) and Jeannine Henley Larkin (271 votes).

The winner will face Democrat Nathan Weller in the Nov. 7 general election.

“It’s a little early to jump up in the air and click my heels together,” said Largent, who resides in Colfax. “I am encouraged about the vote spread though.”

Largent expressed his thanks to the other candidates.

“I feel that all the candidates ran a race of character and integrity,” he said.

Hooper said 4,860 ballots were counted Tuesday, and election officials expect to receive 2,000 to 2,500 more ballots over the next few days.

About 19,000 ballots were mailed out to registered Whitman County voters, Hooper said. Updated results from Whitman County will be released today at 3:30 p.m.

“We will release new numbers every day until we get done counting,” Hooper said.


Hooper said the county’s first vote-by-mail election has worked well overall. She said people respond positively when the election office needs to verify signatures or change addresses. Hooper said all the addresses and signatures should be verified before the November general election.

She was unable to provide a cost estimate for the primary election.

“In a few weeks we should know what it costs,” she said. “With the postage, the three ballots, and the time, it could end up costing more than the old election sites.” .

Hailey has relatively slim lead in Dist. 9

Steve Hailey leads three other Republican candidates in a tight race to battle Democrat Caitlin Ross for state representative District 9 Position No. 1.

Hailey had received 3,114 votes by 8 p.m. Tuesday, when initial results from the primary election were released. Joe Schmick of Colfax was close behind with 2,738 votes. Tedd Nealey was third with 2,236 votes, and Glen R. Stockwell received 1,311 votes. The winner will face Democrat Caitlin Ross in the Nov. 7 general election.

Nearly half of Schmick’s support has come from Whitman County, where he’s received 1,351 votes compared to Hailey’s 628.

Whitman County officials expect to receive an additional 2,000 to 2,500 votes in the coming days, meaning the race is far from over. More results will be released today at 3:30 p.m., Whitman County Election Supervisor Debbie Hooper said.

“It’s been a busy primary,” Schmick said. “It would be nice if I were ahead, but I’m still a little behind. There’s really nothing to do but wait.”

Hailey received a majority of support in Franklin County, where he resides. He’s received 474 votes in Franklin County, compared to Schmick’s 24.

As it stands, Hailey has received 33 percent of the votes to Schmick’s 29 percent, with 78 of 119 precincts reporting.


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