Ross congratulates Pine, commission goes GOP

Incumbent Randy Ross has conceded the race for County Commissioner Seat 2 to Kevin Pine.

“I have congratulated Kevin Pine on his win in the county commissioner race. It is a pleasure to have served the citizens of Grays Harbor County and I look forward to the next chapter of my life and wish Mr. Pine the best in his new role as county commissioner for District No. 2,” Ross wrotein a statement emailed to The Daily World Friday evening.

The county Auditor’s Office released new vote totals Friday afternoon, the first count since the initial counting on Election Day. Pine added to his initial lead over Ross. Tuesday, he held about a 3% lead over Ross. Friday’s count had 18,473 votes for Pine and 15,768 for Ross, a lead for Pine of 53.79%-45.91%. With Position 1 already won by Elma real estate agent Jill Warne with 56.56% of the vote to challenger Democrat Jamie Nichols’ 43.36%, the three-member commission will have a majority of Republicans for the first time in decades. Vickie Raines, the third member of the commission was not up for election this year. She does not have a party affiliation.

Auditor Joe MacLean was expected to update the totals again after a count Monday afternoon, too late for press time for Tuesday’s paper.

Republican challenger Joel McEntire padded his lead over longtime incumbent Democrat Brian Blake for the 19th District Position 2 State Representative seat in Friday’s’ ballot count.

As of Friday’s count, 37,048 ballots had been counted by the Grays Harbor County Auditor’s Office. With 48,859 registered voters, turnout stood at over 75%. The county auditor’s elections page indicates there are about 2,000 ballots left to count.

McEntire, of Cathlamet, iss defeating Blake, 52.55%-47.37%, with 71,777 votes cast. Blake, of Aberdeen, narrowly edged McEntire among Grays Harbor County voters, by 362 of the 15,881 votes tallied so far, but McEntire continued to see strong support from the rest of the district Friday.

Assuming McEntire hangs on, the 19th District’s legislative crew will consist of all Republicans. Jeff Wilson further cemented his victory Friday over incumbent Democrat Dean Takko in the race for State Senator, earning 55.25% of the 72,175 votes cast. The race was a little tighter within Grays Harbor County, but Wilson still had the edge, 8,320-7,520.

Position 2 incumbent Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, also easily retained his seat. Friday’s update had him gaining 2% on his already big lead over Montesano Democrat Marianna Everson district-wide, 41,740 votes to 28,596. Grays Harbor voters favored Walsh by a similar margin, 57.3%-42.59%.

Grays Harbor voters continued to favor Republican candidates in most races at most levels. In the 24th District, incumbent Democrats had little trouble holding onto their legislative positions with strong support from Jefferson and Clallam counties, but in all three races the Republican candidates bested the Democratic incumbents by near 10% margins.

In the vote for president, incumbent Donald Trump increased his lead among Grays Harbor County voters with more than 51% of the vote, 18,960 to Joe Biden’s 16,623.

In the race for governor, Jay Inslee was ahead of Republican Loren Culp statewide by more than 15%, but in Grays Harbor County it was Culp who was the clear-cut favorite. Culp after Friday’s count had 56.46% of the county’s votes to Inslee’s 43.35%.

In the 6th Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Derek Kilmer easily retained U.S. Representative seat over Republican Elizabeth Kreiselmaier, with almost 60% of the nearly 405,000 ballots counted so far. In Grays Harbor County, it was Kreiselmaier who held a slim advantage over Kilmer, just 18,147-17,574.