Purcell vs. Walsh still too close to call

Purcell only 83 votes ahead with thousands of ballots still not counted among 19th District counties

The latest updates from the five County Elections offices within the Washington State Legislature’s 19th District have ballot counts so far adding up to a paper-thin difference of 83 votes between the candidates for House Pos. 1.

Teresa Purcell, a Democrat from Longview, has 23,456 votes (50.09 percent) and Jim Walsh, a Republican from Aberdeen, has 23,373 votes (49.91 percent).

On Election night, the candidates were 320 votes apart.

The latest results from Grays Harbor County alone indicate Walsh pulled ahead here with 5,464 votes (50.62 percent). Purcell has 5,330 votes (49.38 percent) — they are just 134 votes apart in the county at this point.

Grays Harbor officials have counted 24,934 ballots. The county’s voter turnout rate is at 61.66 percent to date.

No more updates are expected until next week. Grays Harbor County expects to provide another ballot update on Tuesday afternoon.

The 19th District includes portions of Grays Harbor, Lewis, and Cowlitz as well as Pacific and Wahkiakum counties. Lewis officials alone estimate there are 14,000 more ballots to count but it’s unknown precisely how many of the ballots are for 19th District races.

Wahkiakum has more than 2,400 ballots left while Pacific reports only 1,500 remaining.

The winner replaces Democratic incumbent Rep. JD Rossetti, who was appointed to the seat about a year ago but didn’t garner enough votes during the primary to be included on the ballot. Rossetti and Purcell vote totals in the August runoff election were so close that a recount was necessary to determine Purcell was eligible to run in the General Election.