With voting in 2023’s general election concluded as of 8 p.m. on Nov. 7, an initial round of vote tabulations gives a telling glimpse at how candidates faired in races for local government, school board and fire district seats across Grays Harbor County.
After collecting thousands of ballots from McCleary to Ocean Shores on Tuesday, representatives of the Grays Harbor County Auditor’s Office have locked ballot boxes to close voting. About 80% of the vote has been counted as of Tuesday evening, with 9,056 ballots counted and another 2,000 still left to tabulate.
The next county will occur Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., and a third count will occur the following week if more than 500 ballots still remain.
Election results will be certified on Nov. 28.
City of Aberdeen
The first round of ballot tabulation tells little about who be the next mayor of Aberdeen. Douglas Orr leads Debbi Ann Pieraccini by a razor-thin margin of two votes — or 0.12% of the vote. Out of 1,679 voting in that race, another 1%, or 17 ballots, opted for a write-in candidate.
In the race for Aberdeen City Council Ward 3 Position 6, Scott Prato leads Norman Klein by 11 votes, with Prato garnering 51.3% of the vote thus far to Klein’s 47.7%
Stan Sidor has a solid start towards retaining his ward 4 position 7 seat on the Aberdeen City Council, as initial tabulations put him nearly 200 votes ahead of Glenn Meissner, with Sidor holding 70% to Meissner’s 29%.
Riley Carter has a 25-vote lead over incumbent Joshua Francy in the race for Aberdeen City Council Ward 5 Position 9. With 130 votes counted, about 59% of ballots featured dark bubbles next to Carter’s name as opposed to 40% next to Francy’s.
Sydney Newbill leads the race for Aberdeen Ward 6 Position 12, garnering 52.3% of the votes thus far to Bessie Jones’ 47.6%. Those proportions about to a 10-vote lead for Newbill with 214 ballots tabulated.
City of Hoquiam
In the only Hoquiam city government race on the 2023 general election ballot, the race for ward 4 position 8 on the city council, Greg Larsen leads Maxwell Davis by 25 votes, with a total of 93 people voting so far. However, according to Hoquiam City Administrator Brian Shay, Larsen plans to move outside ward 4 and plans to decline the position if elected, meaning Davis will take the seat in 2024 regardless of the general election result.
City of Ocean Shores
Election night results favor Frank Elduen over incumbent Jon Martin in the race for mayor of Ocean Shores. Out of about 1,850 ballots tabulated, Elduen has garnered 56.6% of the vote, while 43.3% of people have voted for Martin, with a 246-vote margin separating the two.
In the race for position 2 on the Ocean Shores City Council, Thomas Taylor has a 125-vote lead over Bob Peterson. Taylor has 53.4% of the vote to Peterson’s 46.4%.
The closest Ocean Shores City Council race is that for position 3, where Susan Conniry and Lisa Griebel are separated by 16 votes, with Conniry holding the lead. A slight majority — 50.2% — of voters have opted for Conniry so far over Griebel, who has 49.45 of the vote.
In the position 4 race, incumbent Alison Cline has the largest lead in any city of Ocean Shores race, holding a 17-percentage point and 301-vote lead over challenger Caroline Emmert. Cline has 58% of the vote to Emmert’s 41.5%
Slim margins constitute the race for position 6, where Peggy Jo Faria has a 31-vote over incumbent Richard Wills. That lead constitutes less than 1% of the vote, with Faria at 50.7% and Wills just shy of 49%.
City of Elma
Election night results show Josh Collette taking a wide lead over John Heater in the race for mayor of Elma. With nearly 360 votes counted, Collette has about 75% of the vote and 178 more votes than Heater.
In the race for Elma City Council Position 4, incumbent Mike Cooper leads Shane Jhanson with 58.6% of the vote to Jhanson’s 39.9%, a proportion constituting a 61-vote gap.
Jacob Borden and Ron Woodman are slightly closer in the race for position 5 on the Elma City Council, with Borden holding 52.7% of the vote and Woodman garnering 46.8%, and an 18-vote margin separating the two.
City of Westport
In the race for the next mayor of Westport, Edward Welter is out in front of Greg Barnes with 57.5% of the vote compared to Barnes’ 42.2%. That’s a 56-vote margin between the two with 365 ballots counted so far.
Incumbent Troy Meyers has a majority of votes — 53.7% — in the race for Westport City Council Position 2, as challenger Tommy Cappa trails by 24 votes with 46.3%.
Approximately the same margin separates candidates in the position 5 race, as Darcia Davis holds a 27-vote lead, with 54% of the vote, over Kathryn Franzen, who has 46% of the vote.
City of Cosmopolis
Tuesday’s ballot count favored Linda Springer over Steve Davis for the next mayor of Cosmopolis, with Springer garnering 69% of the vote to Davis’ 30%. The difference is nearly 144 votes with 370 ballots counted thus far.
In the race for Position 1 on the Cosmopolis City Council, Kim Skinner leads Ashley Arcangel by 91 votes. About 63% of voters cast their ballots for Skinner, compared to 37% for Arcangel.
The race for position 3 on the Cosmopolis City Council carries a slimmer margin, with Justin Spargo holding a 30-vote lead over Kasi Turner. Spargo gathered 54.2% while Turner has 45.7% of the vote.
In Cosmopolis’ tightest city council contest, nine votes separate Mark Collett, with 51% fo the vote, and Sue Darcy, with 48.4% of the vote, in the race for position 4.
Hoquiam School Board
In the only contested race on the Hoquiam School Board, Chris Bryson has a sizeable lead over position 3 incumbent Bryce Puvogel, holding 66% to Puvogel’s 33%, a margin of 259 votes.
North Beach School Board
Incumbent Jeff Albertson has a sizeable lead over challenger Rickie Day in the race for district 1 director on the North Beach School Board, garnering 67.5% of votes in the first ballot count compared to Day’s 32%. The margin is 675 votes.
The race for district 4 director is closer, as Joe Lomedico holds a 76-vote lead over Halvar Olstead. Fewer than four percentage points separate the candidates, with a majority, 51.7%, voting for Lomedico and 47.75% voting for Halstead.
In the race for district 5 director, incumbent Robert Doering is trailing Susan Rogers by nearly 300 votes and 15 percentage points. However, Rogers told The Daily World last month that she recently accepted a teaching job within the North Beach School District, and, given that district policy prevents board members from holding jobs within the district, she would not accept the school board position if elected.
McCleary School Board
Incumbent Tom Moonan is leading Melissa Ashlock in the lone contested race for McCleary School Board, the district 3 director. The gap is constituted by 31 votes and 10 percentage points, with Moonan garnering 55% of votes.
Taholah School Board
The race for position 1 on the Taholah School Board remains tight after initial ballot counts, with incumbent Jacob James currently edging Richie Underwood by only one vote, 28-27.
Oakville School Board
The Oakville School Board has five seats up for grabs in the 2023 general election, although none saw more than one candidate file for a single position. But as of Tuesday’s election results, the district 3 school board position may be contested, as Elizabeth Logan Brockman currently trails one vote behind those garnered for the write-in candidate category. Grays Harbor County voters favored Brockman 93-92 votes, but three votes in Lewis County gave the write-in category the slight edge.
North River School Board
In the North River School Board’s lone contested race, incumbent James Banas has garnered about 60% of the vote and leads Jan McDonald by nine votes. With a total of 43 ballots from both Pacific and Grays Harbor counties tabulated in the race, results from those two jurisdictions are essentially reversed, with three quarters of Pacific voters favoring McDonald and the same proportion of Grays Harbor voters favoring Banas.
East Grays Harbor Fire and Rescue
Kolby Lyle leads the race for position 2 on the East Grays Harbor Fire and Rescue Board of Commissioners, garnering 63.9% of the vote compared to Nicole Boley’s 35.7%. A margin of 233 votes separates the two.
The position 4 race on the same board is closer, with Kevin Koski leading Eric Patton by 86 votes. They have 55% and 44.6% of the vote, respectively.
Fire District 2 levy lid lift
Election night ballot tabulations show voter support for the levy lid lift in Fire District 2, with 65.6% of 900 total voters approving the lid lift.