MONTESANO, Wash. – Grays Harbor voters have shown strong support for a sales tax increase for Grays Harbor Transit to upright an $800-thousand budget deficit, and for incumbent Port Commissioner Chuck Caldwell. The Grays Harbor County Auditor’s office reports just over 38% voter turnout. With more ballots to be counted results will be certified on November 26th.

In Aberdeen, incumbent councils Denny Lawrence and Kathy Hoder both have strong leads, Alice Phelps leads with closer to 56%, South side incumbent John Smith is trailing by 11 votes to challenger Tawni Andrews.
Recently appointed Alan Richrod is loosing to the familiar name of the late John Erak, Richrod was appointed in June, after Erak passed away. If Erak wins the election posthumously , the council will have to appoint someone.

Toppling incumbents In Hoquiam, challenger Richard Pennant leads by 9 votes over councilman John Weidl, Denise Anderson leads over incumbent Brenda Carlstrom, but Councilman Greg Grun holds a strong lead to keep his seat.

In Westport, challenger Rob Bearden is toppling councilwoman Desiree Dodson.

In Ocean Shores, Jackie Farra retains her seat, while Gordon Broadbent leads for the position 7 seat vacated by Ed Engel.

As we reported in August, the vote to support a .01% sales tax increase for the Grays Harbor Transit Authority will NOT restore weekend service to the area immediately. 

In Elma, incumbent council Jim Taylor is loosing to Pat Miller, while David Blackett appears to be holding on to his seat. While in McCleary Mayor Gary Dent is leading for what will be his sixth term as mayor.

Fire District levies are getting support throughout the county, district 5 voters are approving a levy to purchase two new ambulances for East Grays Harbor, District 7 in Ocean City is approving an EMS levy. District 8 in Pacific Beach is passing a levy to purchase a new firetruck. District 16 in Copalis Crossing is passing two levies, one for EMS, the other for M and O.
District 14 in Ocosta is less than 1% away from the supermajority vote required to approve their EMS levy.

With just over 38% voter turnout in Grays Harbor, the next ballot count will be on Friday.

Statewide, initatives 517 and 522 both appear to be failing. 522, which seeks to label genetically modified foods, and 517 would add protections for signature gatherers.
Because of the state’s vote-by mail system, counties will be updating their numbers daily throughout the week, the election results will be certified on the 26th of November.

The expensive race for State Senator of the 26th Legeslative District is within 770 votes. Jan Angel leads over Nathan Schlicher 51 to 48% for the seat vacated when Derek Kilmer was elected to US Congress.
Pacific County reports 42% voter turnout, South Bend mayor Kirk Church’s attempt at a write-in campaign is loosing to Rose Struck.