With a regional fire authority measure and some city council races that could prove pivotal, voter turnout on the first night of the 2021 general election stood at less than 21%.
The Aberdeen and Hoquiam joint resolution to combine its fire and EMS services into one agency, the Central Grays Harbor Regional Fire Authority, requires 60% of the combined vote of the cities to pass. With about two-thirds of the total county ballots tallied, it stood at 59.3% yes votes to 40.66% no votes in Aberdeen, and 59.93% yes votes and 40.07% no votes in Hoquiam, currently failing by slim of margins.
Aberdeen City Council
In Ward 1, Position 1, incumbent Melvin Taylor, a chemical dependency counselor who was appointed to the seat in March, defeated challenger Kimberly Strom. Taylor received more than 61% of the votes. Strom, assistant manager at Cannabis 21, rang up just under 38%.
In the Ward 3, Position 5 race, incumbent Liz Ellis has likely defeated challenger Norman Klein 5 169-140. Ellis is the founder of the Randall Street Community Garden and was appointed to the council in September 2020.
In Ward 4, Position 7, the seat currently held by Margo Shortt, Marissa Aube holds a 51.38% to 48.39% edge over Antara Croft. Aube is a founding member of the Aberdeen Sunday Market, Croft a physical therapist.
Debi Ann Pieraccini, owner of City Cuts in Aberdeen, defeated incumbent Alan Richrod for the Ward 5 Position 10 seat. Richrod was appointed to the seat, previously held by Karen Rowe, in May 2020. Pieraccini was besting Richrod after the first count 85-35, or just under 71% to just over 29% for Richrod.
Ward 6 Position 11 incumbent Frank Gordon received just under 41% of the first night’s tally to challenger David Lawrence’s 59%.
Cosmopolis City Council
Position 4 incumbent Debbie Moran, elected to the council in 2010, was defeated by challenger Cody Bridges, who garnered just under 58% of the first night’s ballot count. Bridges was the Cosmopolis Fire Chief, who was critical of the city and was ultimately fired by Mayor Kyle Pauley in May.
Position 5’s race is too close to call after the first count. Incumbent Miles Wenzel holds a slight advantage over challenger Jonathan Bennett, 131-128.
Hoquiam City Council
In the two contested council races, incumbent Jim George defeated challenger Dennis J. Carpenter with nearly 64% of the vote for Ward 2 Position 4. Just two votes separate incumbent Greg Grun and challenger Jamie Brand in Ward 4 Position 7.
Elma City Council
Incumbent Pat Miller defeated challenger Tim Hedgpeth in Position 1, 80% to 20%. The other races were uncontested.
Incumbent Mayor Brenda Orffer has been defeated by challenger Chris Miller, 184-106.
McCleary City Council
Andrea Dahl defeated Gary Atkins 199-71 in the Position 1 race. In Position 5, Deborah Joy Iverson defeated Jacob Simmons 203 votes to 75.
Montesano City Council
In Position 2, Rollin Caryl is the apparent victor with just under 57% of the vote to challenger Valerie Jester’s 42%. In Position 3, Holly Shuck holds a 21 vote advantage over Ian Cope. Incumbent Tyler Trimble holds a 34-vote advantage over challenger Brooke Chapman-Hoiness in Position 6.
Anthony Smith defeated Bill Breedlove 47-29. City of Oakville City Council races were uncontested.
Ocean Shores City Council
In Position 1, incumbent Susan Conniry is being outpaced by challenger Eric Noble 1,094-882 (55.28%-44.57%).
Lisa Scott, Position 5 incumbent and Community Development Director for the city of Aberdeen, appears to have defeated challenger Patrick Daugherty. Scott got 1,109 of the first night ballots. Daugherty, an Air Force veteran, tallied 829.
In Position 7, Five Star Dealerships founder Rich Hartman holds a 1,049-893 advantage over consultant Patric Hayes.
Westport City Council
Position 1 incumbent Melissa Huerta defeated challenger Dennis Hall 191-110. In Position 2, Troy Myers has defeated Brennan James 182-96.
There are school board, fire district and many other races on this year’s ballot. For election results, go to results.vote.wa.gov/results/20211102/graysharbor/.
About 10,220 ballots were counted Tuesday night, with an estimated 5,000 left to count. The next ballot count is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday.