Election results inch closer to conclusion

County-level races are still being counted while state-wide races wrap up

Nearly a week after Election Day, Grays Harbor County voters are inching closer to having some clarity regarding the results of some election races.

The Grays Harbor Auditor’s Office released an updated ballot count as of Thursday, Nov. 10 with the inclusion of 1,682 ballots to the total number of ballots counted, which now sits at 18,613.

While the updated counts don’t provide any significant changes in any of the contested county-level races, trends can be seen in all four.

Grays Harbor Assessor

While incumbent Democrat Dan Lindgren still holds a lead over Republican challenger Rick Hole, indications point to the race tightening, although slightly. Lindgren, who is vying for his third term as assessor, currently has more than 54% of the vote compared to Hole who has less than 46%. Hole, who served as the Grays Harbor Assessor from 2011 through 2014, trails Lindgren by nearly 1,600 votes.

Grays Harbor Coroner

In the race for coroner, incumbent Democrat Bob Kegel trails nonpartisan challenger George J. Kelley with the trend appearing to show the race is opening in favor of Kelley. Kegel, who has less than 41% of the vote, was the only incumbent candidate to lose in the August primary. Kelley, who has over 59% of the vote, currently leads Kegel by more than 3,000 votes.

Grays Harbor Sheriff

Darrin Wallace, the chief investigations deputy for the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office, continues to build his lead over Michael Catlett, the former Brier police chief, in the race for Sheriff. Wallace currently holds nearly 74% of the vote compared to Catlett who has more than 25% of the vote. While there are still votes to be counted, it seems highly unlikely Catlett could surpass the nearly 8,000-vote deficit he has against Wallace.

Grays Harbor County Commissioner District 3

In the only race that isn’t tightening or opening, incumbent nonpartisan candidate Vickie Raines still has a lead over Republican challenger Lisa Zaborac for county commissioner. Raines, who is seeking her third term as commissioner, currently has less than 55% of the vote compared to Zaborac who is just shy of 45% of the vote. Zaborac is trailing Raines by nearly 1,800 votes.

Secretary of State

Incumbent Democrat Steve Hobbs has prevailed in the race for secretary of state, the first time a member of his party has been elected as Washington’s chief elections officer in 58 years. Hobbs, who defeated nonpartisan Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, was appointed by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee to replace Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman after she took an election security job in the Biden administration.

Anderson, who was vying to become the first third-party candidate to win a state-wide office in Washington history, carried 30 of the 39 counties in total votes but was unable to make up ground as King County swung heavily in Hobbs favor by 32 percentage points.

With Republicans not able to advance a candidate past the primary round, total write-ins made up approximately 4% of the vote, preventing Hobbs and Anderson from surpassing 50% of the total vote.

Legislative District 19 and Legislative District 24

Incumbent Republican Joel McEntire has won reelection for Legislative District 19 Position 2, according to The Associated Press. McEntire, who currently has 61% of the vote, defeated Democratic challenger Sara Cusack, who has 39% of the vote. With Republican Jim Walsh (Position 1) securing his reelection bid a few days earlier, both District 19 incumbents will serve together for another two-year term.

Legislative District 24 Position 1 incumbent Democrat Mike Chapman will win reelection against Republican challenger Sue Forde, according to The Associated Press. With 79% of the vote in, Chapman has 58% of the vote compared to Forde who has 42% of the vote. No media outlet as of press time has called the race for Legislative District 24 Position 2 between incumbent Democrat Steve Tharinger and Republican challenger Brian Pruiett. Tharinger currently holds 57% of the vote compared to Pruiett who has 43% of the vote.

Next Ballot Count

The Grays Harbor Auditor’s Office will release its next ballot count on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 5 p.m. While the Auditor’s Office couldn’t say how many ballots are left to be counted for the county, Joe MacLean, the Grays Harbor County auditor, previously stated the goal was to have most of the votes counted by Nov. 16.

Contact reporter Allen Leister at allen.leister@thedailyworld.com.