Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"Ninth District landslide? Nope..."

As I pointed out last night, the state numbers for the 9th District state representative race did not include Whitman County. The Spokesman-Review pulled a Dewey vs. Truman and declared Steve Hailey the winner. According to the the "Eye on Olympia " blog, the fat lady hasn't sung yet yet:
If you logged in to the Secretary of State's website last night (or read the vote tallies in our paper this morning) it looked like Mesa rancher and farmer Steve Hailey roared across the Palouse in this election, trouncing the next-strongest candidate by 17 percentage points.

Not quite. There was a glitch with the Secretary of State's website last night, and the numbers posted there all night Tuesday didn't include Whitman County's results. We hand-tallied the race to summarize it correctly in a news story -- "Steve Hailey had a narrow lead Tuesday night over Colfax farmer and businessman Joe Schmick" -- but weren't quick enough to fix the graphic.

Here, then, are the real results:

Glen Stockwell: 14 percent
Joe Schmick: 29 percent
Tedd Nealey: 24 percent
Steve Hailey: 33 percent

The difference between Hailey and Schmick is now 376 votes.

The counting continues, as ballots arrive in the mail. And here's why Hailey might be a little nervous: Schmick, a Colfax native, is outpolling him more than 2 to 1 in populous Whitman County. (In the other big county in the district -- Spokane County -- the two are neck and neck.)

Stay tuned. It ain't over yet.

UPDATE: Whitman County Auditor Eunice Coker says there are about 1,000 more ballots to be counted by 5 p.m. today.

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