Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

"Pullman council race too close to call"

From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Stay tuned to Palousitics for updates.
Residents of Pullman will have to wait a few more days to find out who will hold the Ward 2 position on the City Council after Tuesday's initial vote count left the race too close to call.

Incumbent Al Sorensen has a narrow lead over challenger Nathan Weller, 153 votes to 144, after the first tally of votes.

Whitman County Election officials said approximately 1,700 ballots were received Tuesday and have yet to be counted. Ballots postmarked on or before Tuesday also will be counted. Additional votes will be counted Thursday or Friday.

Sorensen said he is surprised at the closeness of the race.

"I'm flabbergasted. I'm surprised at how close it is, to be honest with you," Sorensen said. "I feel that I am the more qualified candidate, and I'm surprised that my constituency in Ward 2 doesn't feel that way."

"If I'm doing something they don't like, I'd really like to know about it," he continued. "If there's something that the City Council hasn't done, I'd really like to know about it."

Weller said he is still "green" to the political process and it was a shock to see the race so close.

"It's always surprising to see that you were able to reach out to everyone. It's a surprise - but a happy surprise," he said. "I'm dealing with the, 'wow, you were able to move people to turn in their ballots.' "

Weller said he and volunteers did a lot of canvassing and get-out-the-vote work, and his message appeared to get out.

"We did what we wanted to do," Weller said. "We reached out to as many people as we possibly could. We left it up to the electoral process."

Weller said he will be anxiously awaiting the election's final results.

"I'll be waiting with baited breath," he said. "I'll be writing lots of thank-you notes, that's for sure."

In the Pullman School District, incumbent Susan Weed ran away with the election, pulling in 1,681 votes, compared to 348 by Daquarii Rock.

Weed said she was "thrilled" with her victory.

Weed said she had worried her campaign slogans - which used "Weed" next to "schools" - would hurt her chances. She said her campaign signs were popular among students.

"A bunch of them went missing and Sunday morning there was a huge sign made up of many of my signs. It was probably students, because it said 'We hope for Weed in American schools,' " she said.

Challenger Daquarii Rock had put her name in for the position when she did not know Weed was running.

In Colfax, the race for mayor also appears to be a lock, with incumbent Norma Becker holding a sizeable lead over David Szambelan, 436 to 291.

Becker said she is excited to serve Colfax for a fifth term.

"I am very gratified and happy with the vote of confidence of the citizens of Colfax," Becker said.

Pullman City Council*

Ward 2

Al Sorensen 153

Nathan Weller 144

Pullman School Board

District 1

x Susan Weed 1,681

Daquarii Rock 348

Colfax Mayor

x Norma Becker 436

David Szamblen 291

* Vote totals are through Tuesday. About 1,700 votes were received at the Whitman County Courthouse Tuesday and not counted, and more votes are expected to arrive in coming days.

Other Whitman County races


Fire District, Commissioner Position 2 - Rick Heitstuman leads Frank Ankerson, 173 to 97.


Colfax School District, District 1 Director - Laura Johnson leads Alan Morgan, 573 to 354.

Colfax School District, District 3 Director - Cary Hall leads Chad Maki, 528 to 369.


Colton School District, District 3 Director - Mike Reisenauer leads Carl Moehrle, 141 to 127.

Colton School District, District 4 Director - Danette Kriehn leads Douglas Ligvori, 125 to 117.


Palouse School District, District 1 Director - Jill Griffen leads Ed Griner, 148 to 124.

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